Renovation plan solves cost and complexity issues – Electric Ireland Superhomes

The National Renovation Scheme addresses two critical issues for consumers, who dislike the cost and complexity associated with refurbishing their homes, according to Stephen O’Connor, managing director of Electric Ireland Superhomes (EIS).

“Anything that can overcome these hurdles is good,” he added, while the improved program would be welcomed by the construction industry as it brings clarity and certainty.

With multi-year funding becoming the norm, it would end the panic and tight deadlines associated with annual programs that have worked so far, he said.

Rolling out the one-stop-shop option, where home energy surveys, design and documents are handled, including SEAI grant applications, would make retrofitting much more convenient, O’Connor predicted. It would also facilitate “cash fronting the job” instead of households having to put money up front and recover subsidies later.

It would also lead to better regulation, as construction companies forming one-stop shops such as EIS must register and integrate their IT with SEAI systems. Although this could lead to a smaller number of more important players, he said, it would ensure a higher standard of work.

Energy analyst Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir of MaREI at UCC said it was essential that Irish climate action was scaled up quickly by including “ambitious modernization as part of a series of things”.

After setting the second most ambitious short-term emissions reduction target in legislation, sectoral emissions caps were to be set as part of the agreement on a five-year carbon budget, he said. . This was to include a drastic reduction in emissions in the residential sector; “Modernization is the key to achieving this,” stressed Professor Ó Gallachóir.

This would ensure that people live in sufficiently warm and healthy homes and reduce emissions associated with heating. The program “sends a strong signal and will mobilize investment in modernization,” he said.

As many people who would benefit from the scheme would likely be able to afford to retrofit their homes, “this should not divert funds from people who cannot afford it, as it would exacerbate energy poverty,” he said. he warned.

Clare O’Connor, energy policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, said: “Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by retrofitting homes is a key step in reaching our climate goals, while simultaneously responding to the international gas crisis that increases our energy bills.

Accelerating the move away from fossil fuels through retrofits had huge potential to reduce energy costs, make homes warmer and healthier, and protect vulnerable households, she added. However, the renovation program “must address key challenges of affordability, fuel poverty, tenant protection and labor shortages”.

Sharon D. Cole