€20 million from carbon tax allocated to retrofitting homes in the midlands

€20 million from carbon tax will go towards retrofitting homes in the midlands.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has welcomed the approval given at cabinet for the allocation to eight local authorities under the Midlands Retrofit Project.

Under the proposed allocations, local authorities in counties Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Westmeath and Longford are to receive €3.33 million each and Roscommon, Galway and Tipperary are to receive €1.11 million each.

Works are expected to commence in counties Longford, Kildare and Galway in October and in Roscommon in November. The remaining four local authorities are currently commencing surveys.

Commenting, Minister O’Brien said: “This allocation will provide for energy efficiency renovations to approximately 750 local authority homes.

This funding will also help provide an economic stimulus to the regions most affected by Bord na Móna and ESB closures.

“The focus of the retrofit programme will begin in the midlands, where fossil fuel use is highest, and where communities have been negatively impacted by the closure of peat-fired power stations.”

It is expected that works to each dwelling will take approximately three to four weeks, with “minimal internal disruption to the occupants”, according to the minister.

€28 million for community energy projects in Ireland

Meanwhile, it has also been announced that €28 million in government funding will go towards 39 community energy projects. This funding is unrelated to the funding approved for the Midlands Retrofit Project.

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan announced the funding, which will lead to almost “1,500 homes and community and commercial buildings” that are “warmer, healthier and waste less energy”.

This funding will go to 39 community projects under the Community Energy Grant Scheme.

The grants, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), will support projects with a total investment value of almost €74 million.

These projects will implement upgrades that will include: roof and wall insulation; replacement windows and doors; lighting upgrades; energy monitors; heating controls; and solid fuel room heaters.

According to Minister Ryan, the projects will also deliver “significant employment benefits locally and nationally”.

The grant offers include €4.3 million specifically for projects delivering aggregated home retrofit upgrades. There are 14 such projects.

The grant offers include €4.3 million specifically for projects delivering aggregated home retrofit upgrades. There are 14 such projects comprising 348 homes.