Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, has today launched the Better Energy programme, which will get €30m in Government funding in 2011 and support an extra 2,000 jobs this year, helping to progress Ireland’s green building sector.
Better Energy will replace the three existing residential programmes: Home Energy Saving Scheme (HES), Warmer Homes Scheme (WHS) and Greener Homes Scheme (GHS) under one umbrella, with the aim of making it easier for people to make an informed choice about the most suitable energy saving measure for them when retrofitting their homes.
Under the new programme, energy companies will be involved as partners in delivering energy savings. The programme will also signal a move to new financial models, such as upfront discounts rather than retrospective grants and a national pay-as-you-save scheme.
Welcoming the decision by the Minister for Finance to allocate an additional €30m towards the new programme, Rabbitte said: “Better Energy is a major step forward in this Government’s retrofitting programme. Given energy price trends and growing concerns over security of supply, the way we use energy is no longer simply a question of environmental responsibility but one of economic necessity. Every euro spent by homeowners and businesses on energy efficiency not only brings about long-term energy savings, but also helps support jobs and indigenous companies.”
He added that Ireland needs a strong green building sector, founded upon sustainable principles.
“Better Energy will help drive this agenda by building upon existing successful domestic grant programmes to take the scale of activity to a new level.”
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will monitor all activity by recording the Building Energy Rating (BER) of every home before and after works are carried out.
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