Home energy grant scheme wins ‘Stars of Energy Efficiency’ award

25 Jul 2011

The Government’s grant scheme for home energy efficiency has received the prestigious Stars of Energy Efficiency award from the US-based energy coalition Alliance to Save Energy for its success in improving the energy efficiency of Irish homes.

The programme, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), has supported the upgrade of more than 100,000 homes since March 2009 and will generate lifetime energy savings of €700m.

The Alliance to Save Energy is an international coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy and national security.

“It is a great achievement to be included in the stellar line-up of energy-efficiency award recipients this year and strong recognition of Ireland’s position in leading such energy-efficiency initiatives,” the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, TD, said.

100,000 homes upgraded so far

“This programme is supporting jobs, improving home comfort, reducing energy bills and reducing emissions. It is heartening how popular the programme has proven, with over 100,000 homes upgraded so far, and demand from the public remains as high as ever. This is a very important national programme, and it is gratifying to see it internationally recognised.”

The Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards have been presented annually since 1973 by the alliance to individuals and organisations who have strived to advance energy efficiency. The Government’s Better Energy Homes (formerly Home Energy Saving) scheme is the only non-US initiative to receive an award this year, which will be presented at an event in Washington this October.

Government funding for energy efficiency upgrades in homes and business in 2011 is more than €90m which, when combined with private investment, will see close to a quarter of a billion euro spent on energy efficiency, supporting nearly 7,000 jobs.

“It is a fantastic honour for us to receive an international award of this prestige. It should serve now as an inspiration for further work in the area of energy efficiency,” Prof J Owen Lewis, chief executive of SEAI, said.

“While over 100,000 homes have been upgraded, there are many other householders who can benefit from home energy improvements. We would urge householders to look at Better Energy Homes and the opportunities for them to avail of the incentives on offer,” Lewis added.

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