Galway TD Seán Canney said it was the right call for the govenment to process all outstanding applications for the pilot Deep Retrofit scheme and introduce a new scheme for national implementation.
He praised the move as resolving the situation where 300 home owners were left at the peril of unexpected costs for retrofit projects while contractors were exposed to an environment of uncertainty where jobs could be at risk.
It was unacceptable that people who had applied to the pilot scheme and suffered costs as a result, should be suddenly “left in the lurch,” Seán Canney said.
Deep retrofitting fits in with the Government’s Climate Action Plan for 500,000 homes to achieve a minimum Building Energy Rating (BER) of B2 by 2030
The Galway East TD stressed the need to move the process along “as soon as possible.”
The pilot scheme for deep retrofitting provided for 50% funding for upgrading homes to an A BER with up to 95% funding available for low-income households.
However there was in anger in many sectors last week when it was announced that the scheme had run out of money with no prior warning, and hundreds of applicants were left in limbo.
This week, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton announced that all applications for deep retrofitting that were received by the July 19 deadline for the pilot would now be processed and that those applications would be assessed and honored in line with the existing terms and conditions of the scheme.
It was revealed that the rule which stipulated that all retrofitting under the scheme should be completed by October 2019 would not now apply.
Minister Bruton announced the establishment of a task force led by the Secretary General of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Mark Griffin to advance the plan to retrofit 500,000 homes.
The task force will contemplate grouping deep retrofits in the same area together, smart financing options and easy-method repayments.
It is envisaged that a pilot scheme would operate in both an urban area and a rural area in 2020.