The Home Energy Retrofitting Scheme is being welcomed by the Kerry branch of the Green Party.
“People asked to have retrofitting made more affordable, and now this scheme is being delivered by Minister Eamon Ryan,” said Cleo Murphy, the party’s representative in the Kenmare electoral area.
“Retrofitting homes will reduce the amount of energy we use and protect us from fluctuating oil and gas prices.
“Instead, we will rely more on home-produced renewable electricity. This scheme will also create jobs for skilled labour. We have Centres of Excellence for retrofitting training in Cork and Limerick and we will need to see an increase in the number of apprenticeships on those courses,” said Ms. Murphy.
Anluan Dunne, the party’s representative in Tralee is encouraging people to use the ‘one-stop-shops’ which have been set up to make the retrofitting process easy.
“The eligibility criteria are being broadened and the one-stop-shops will be there to advise on how to get the grant sorted,” he points out,” said Mr. Dunne.
“Everything from advice on what to get upgraded, accessing the funding and who can do the work will be covered.
“This will result in less solid fuel like turf, wood or coal being burned which is a big win from a health perspective as air pollution levels will fall dramatically as more homes are upgraded,” said Mr. Dunne.
Lower Income Families
One-stop-shops include: An Post Green Hub; Electric Ireland Superhomes and Credit Union Greener Homes, all backed by major energy suppliers. They will be joined by many more companies in the coming weeks.
“One of the most significant aspects of the scheme is that lower income families, or households at risk of energy poverty, will be able to have the full cost of upgrading their home funded,” Mr. Dunne added.
Impact in Rural Areas
According to the party’s representative in Dingle, Peadar Ó Fionnáin, the scheme will have particular impact in rural areas
“This is a real step forward for rural Kerry where housing makes up a significant chunk of our energy costs,” said Mr. Ó Fionnáin.
“This scheme takes away a lot of the burden from home-owners and makes it easier for us to make the right decisions.
Diarmaid Griffin, Green Party Killarney rep said that any measure that reduces emissions in this climate crisis is welcome.
“But it’s not just about the move away from fossil fuels, we are also moving towards greater energy independence in this country.
“We have to import most of our oil and gas but we can capture wind energy ourselves,” said Mr. Griffin.
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