#Budget13 – Govt to create €70m Energy Efficiency Fund to kickstart retrofit industry

5 Dec 2012

In a range of measures aimed at enabling Ireland to meet ambitious CO2 targets by 2020, the Minister for Public Reform Brendan Howlin today said he will provide €35m as seed capital to establish a leveraged €70m fund to kickstart the retrofit industry.

Howlin said the Government’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan sets out measures to achieve a national 20pc energy savings target.

One of the key measures is the retrofitting of existing buildings to achieve energy savings, with targets of upgrading the energy performance of 100,000 houses a year.

He said the plan also includes reducing the energy consumption of the public sector by 33pc.

He said: “These are challenging targets but they are also opportunities.”

Howlin said the Government has already taken measures to stimulate economic activity and unlock the “untapped potential of the public sector in this area.”

He has agreed to allocate €9m to improve the energy consumption of central Government buildings up to 2015.

Energy Efficiency Fund

To place the retrofit industry on a sustainable footing, he said Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, TD, has been working closely with the private sector to create an Energy Efficiency Fund.

“Good progress has been made on exploring private funding participants’ interests but as a sign of Government intent, I have agreed to provide resources of €35m as seed capital for this fund with a view to establishing a leveraged fund of over €70m.

“Energy retrofitting is labour intensive and provides job opportunities for our construction sector. We have companies in Ireland who supply much of the material for these works, so jobs will be secured and created in those companies,” Howlin said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years