Plan to upgrade 20,000 Limerick homes to B2 rating by 2030

A new retrofit scheme, which aims to bring 20,000 Limerick homes up to a B2 energy rating by 2030, has been announced. In Limerick, the measures will cost around €300m, of which €15m will be available in 2022.
At the upper end of the Home Energy Upgrade Scheme, around half the cost, equating to €25,000 for a deep retrofit that would improve a dwelling’s energy efficiency to a high B2 rating, will be covered. Government low-interest (3.5%) rate loans will be on offer for such works.
There are currently just under 2,000 homes across Limerick with a low energy rating of just E2.
Although the main focus is on deep retrofits, there will also be 80 per cent grants available to those who opt for more minor work, such as insulating attics or cavity walls, reducing the overall cost of such works to as low as a few hundred euro.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the announcement of retrofitting is a further example of the Government’s commitment to meeting Ireland’s climate objectives.
“With this news, we are taking another important step forward, we are supporting people to take action themselves, to upgrade their homes and to move away from expensive fossil fuels – and we will support them in doing that,” said Mr. Martin.
He added that the package of measures announced will deliver “warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, with much reduced energy bills”.
The scheme will open for applicants from March 1st.
Separately, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said 60,000 homes in Limerick will have to get their heating system changed over the next three decades. He predicted that upwards on 100 homes in Limerick this year will be upgraded. This will rise to 3,000 annually by 2030.
Suggestions that targets will not be made due to labour shortages have been dismissed. “We have calculated with economists that, in the time it takes to build one home, you can retrofit ten homes,” stated Minister of State Ossian Smyth, adding that the scheme will only take 10% of the labour force away from building homes.
He said the scheme “is about giving certainty to people and to builders about what we are doing for the next 10 years.”
“We are sending out a signal, which is that we are spending serious money on making people’s homes warmer. People are cold in their homes, and they have huge bills. This is the right approach to cut their costs.”
While both local Govern-ment TDs, Niall Collins and Patrick O’Donovan, have welcomed the scheme, opposition Deputy Richard O’Donoghue, who is also a building con-tractor, has said that the percentage grants available for major works are inadequate, and that the funding allocation will also fall short due to the rising cost of labour and materials.