While the new retrofitting plans revealed by Government this week must be welcomed, serious concerns around the reality of their delivery remains, according to Michael Fitzmaurice TD.
Yesterday the Minister for Environment, Eamon Ryan, confirmed that Cabinet had approved his proposal for the new scheme to be given the green light.
Speaking on the matter, Fitzmaurice said: “Any scheme which makes it more affordable to carry out energy improvement works on your home must be welcomed.
“But there are serious concerns out there that the scheme doesn’t go far enough for those on lower income thresholds who would not be able to cover the remaining 50% of the costs of a deep retrofit to their home.
“Many of these families may be struggling to get by on week-to-week basis and have bills to pay. Loans may not be an option either, as they may have already gone down that avenue for a car to help with college fees for children etc.
“I am concerned that the level of spin doctoring employed by Government here will try and gloss over the real issues.
“If this scheme is to be effective, sufficient funds have to be allocated to it. Applicants on a lower income must receive sufficient support to make the scheme viable for them.
“It also frustrates me to hear the minister praising this scheme and all it is going to achieve, when the current schemes in place at the minute from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are jammed up.
“I received a response for a constituent in the past week from the SEAI to say that the current wait time before a surveyor could be allocated is between 18 and 24 months. This is from the date the application is accepted.
“So while I welcome aspects of the new scheme, forgive me for being sceptical about this Government’s ability to deliver on its promises when applications to the schemes currently in place could be waiting up to two years,” Fitzmaurice concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565