Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes SEAI figures which show Government supported 47,900 home energy upgrades in 2023.

7th March, 2024

  • Almost 6,000 energy-poor homes were supported with free energy upgrades.
  • Full year review published by SEAI shows clear evidence of momentum, both in demand and supply

 

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) published a report today (7th March, 2024) giving details on the 47,900 home energy upgrades supported through Government funded SEAI grant schemes last year. This represents an increase of 76% on the number of upgrades delivered in 2022.

 

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Community Development, Charities and Integration, Joe O’Brien said:

 

“It is great to see the numbers increasing year on year for retrofitting. The uptake in retrofitting not only reduces emissions, but saves the residents money at each billing cycle by creating warmer, more efficient homes for people to live in. Retrofitting is a great way to improve our existing housing stock while more efficient new builds come on stream. I am pleased to see that 11,073 retrofits were completed in Dublin alone in 2023, and I am hopeful that we will see both this figure and the national numbers increase again for 2024.”

 

Minister Joe O’Brien continued:

 

“I also welcome the delivery of fully funded energy upgrades for almost 6,000 households at risk of energy poverty through the Warmer Homes Scheme, and 664 Approved Housing Body upgrades under the National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme. We must continue with efforts to ensure all in our society gain from measures such as retrofitting, and that those who wish to are supported to retrofit their home.”

 

Dublin saw 11,073 property upgrades completed in 2023 according to the report, up from 6,349 the year before.

 

The national target set for 2023 was 37,000 so the near 48,000 retrofits completed means this was exceeded by a significant 30%. Of the homes upgraded, 17,600 achieved a BER B2 or better rating and almost 5,900 were energy-poor homes which benefitted from free energy upgrades.

 

The headline outcomes for 2023, across all schemes administered by SEAI, were:

  • 664 Approved Housing Body upgrades supported under the One-Stop-Shop Service
  • 44 fuel-poor homes supported under the Community Energy Grants Scheme.
  • Over 67,400 applications processed (up 35% year on year)
  • Capital expenditure of €319.6 million (up 70% year on year)
  • Over 47,900 home energy upgrades (up 76% year on year) – 30% over target
  • Over 17,600 BER B2 upgrades completed (up 108% year on year)
  • Almost 5,900 fully funded energy upgrades for low-income households (up 33% year on year)

 

 

Dr Ciaran Byrne, Director of National Retrofit at SEAI said:

“2023 was a positive year for home energy upgrades, with clear evidence of momentum both in supply and demand. Applications were up one third on 2022 suggesting a growing appreciation by homeowners of the benefits of retrofitting their homes, not only in terms of the warmth and comfort and reduced running costs but also how it significantly increases the value of the home. All of this was achieved against a challenging backdrop. While inflation decreased gradually through the year, the combined impact of ten ECB interest rate hikes undoubtedly impacted on disposable funds available to homeowner to invest in areas like retrofitting. There were also some supply side challenges, where the shortage of retrofit labour, particularly in specialist areas such as plumbing and heat pump installation, impacted on some companies’ ability to scale.”

 

Dr Byrne Continued:

“The standout performance last year was on the residential solar photovoltaic scheme. This is likely a combination of the range of incentives available, the ease of installation and use, along with a certain ‘kerbside appeal’ of solar panels. At the same time, while heat pumps installations were up 65% last year, we need even faster uptake in coming years. Heat pumps are a more challenging technology to deploy than say solar panels, because the home insulation and air tightness must be adequate for efficient operation. However, as heat pumps become the norm in new build homes, more people are experiencing the increased warmth and comfort a heat pump gives. This year we will focus considerable attention on homeowner awareness and education as well as supply chain development to build towards the ambitious Climate Action Plan targets.”

 

In surveys undertaken by SEAI and other groups, the cost of retrofit and affordability were cited amongst the biggest barriers for homeowners to undertake a retrofit in 2023. SEAI expects this issue will be partially mitigated when the Government backed low-cost loan scheme is launched in the coming weeks.

 

For more information on Home Energy Upgrades visit www.seai.ie/home-energy/home-upgrades

 

ENDS

 

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Sophie Popplewell, Carr Communications: 083 402 6572/ sophie@carrcommunications.ie  or Marie Lynch, Carr Communications:  087 973 0522/marie@carrcommunications.ie

 

About SEAI

SEAI is Ireland’s national energy authority investing in, and delivering, appropriate, effective, and sustainable solutions to help Ireland’s transition to a cleaner energy future. We work with householders, businesses, communities, and government to achieve this, through expertise, funding, educational programmes, policy advice, research, and the development of new technologies. SEAI is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.