Over 400 council houses set to get an energy efficiency upgrade

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Over 400 council houses in Blanchardstown are set to get an energy efficiency upgrade as part of the Government's new stimulus package.

Energy Insulation Grants
Work will begin this month on a programme of attic and cavity wall insulation work on 266 social units in the Whitestown Estate. The six week programme by Fingal County Council and Airtricity is funded through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Meanwhile, tenders are due in soon on an insulation programme for 200 houses in Corduff Grove and Park Estates. As well as attic and cavity wall insulation the contractors will carry out improvements on ventilation and the draught proofing of windows.

This is a pilot project led by the Department of the Environment in which local people currently on the live register will be fully trained to carry out the work.

This is all part of a €50m three year energy efficiency investment programme for local authority homes. It is a key part of the Government’s additional €150m capital investment in the economy over 2013-2014.

I have been campaigning with Whitestown residents and Kevin Quinn and Corduff Grove & Park Estate Management to have these estates prioritised as part of this programme. Many of these houses have very poor energy ratings – an ‘G’ or ‘F’ in terms of BER ratings.

Tenants will receive notice in writing before the works commence. Owners of private properties in these estates may also apply to the contractors to have insulation work done and can avail of grant assistance of between 30 and 100 per cent depending on their circumstances.

In recent years capital funding for energy efficiency has been targeted at properties owned by local authorities only when they became vacant. This new investment will result in lower energy bills and warmer homes for tenants as well as training and employing some of them to carry out the work. I reckon most of these households will save up to €400 in heating costs as a result of this programme.

The energy efficiency investment is good for jobs, good for tenants and good for the environment. Over the next three years €50m will be invested in improving the energy efficiency of 25,000 local authority homes in Ireland. This has the capacity to create approximately 1,000 new jobs. It will also sustain the jobs already created in this important sector.

The initiative will also see our carbon emissions reduced by some 30,000 tonnes per year – an important contribution to Ireland’s climate change strategy.

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