Warmer homes scheme expansion will create 13,000 new jobs

07 February 2016

Labour pledges to ‘grow the green economy’ under a new €1bn Green Infrastructure Fund

The Labour Party today officially launched its plan for green jobs. Entitled ‘Growing the Green Economy’, the main points of the plan involve: 

  • Establishing a Green Infrastructure Fund worth €1bn;
  • Expanding the better energy warmer homes scheme to retrofit 225,000 homes over the next five years and create 13,000 jobs;
  • Delivering greener public transport systems and stronger promotion for cycling;
  • Promoting and diversify Ireland’s renewable energy portfolio;
  • Establishing a new forum for Community Energy Engagement

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Alex White, Minister for Labour Activation, Kevin Humphreys, and Cllr. Carrie Smyth launched the plan.

Speaking at the event, Minister White said: “Labour will act to combat climate change, and we will ensure that our people, businesses and communities are positioned to reap the employment and economic benefits that arise from climate change action.

“The green economy will create and sustain thousands of jobs in the domestic economy and the export sector. Labour in Government will invest more in renewable energy and increase and accelerate our commitment to energy efficiency in our homes, businesses and public buildings.

“Establishing a new €1bn Green Infrastructure Fund is a cornerstone of this policy. It will support enhanced energy efficiency projects and in doing so, we will create 13,000 new jobs and save €39 million in annual household energy bills.

“Our economy is only truly sustainable if it is green. One of the Labour Party’s finest achievements in Government was the enactment of the State’s first ever piece of climate change legislation. I am also pleased to have published the 2015 White Paper on Energy, which set out a path to a decarbonised energy system for Ireland, while ensuring a secure supply of affordable energy for citizens and businesses.

“If re-elected to Government, we will act to ensure that our people, businesses and communities continue to reap the employment and economic benefits that arise from both the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change, the greatest project facing humanity in the 21st century.”

Minister for Labour Activation, Kevin Humphreys, added: “Labour’s record on the environment has created jobs. In 2015 alone, 10,000 homes were given upgrades under the Better Energy programme with an investment of nearly €50 million. That benefits small businesses in the heart of our communities.

“Labour if re-elected to Government will continue to invest in public transport and create a green economy that generates thousands of jobs.”

Cllr Carrie Smyth, an election candidate in Dun Laoghaire, said: “I am pleased that our strong economic standing means we are in a position to propose the significant expansion of energy efficiency programmes today. But even when the recession roared, Labour Ministers like Alex White prioritised Better Energy schemes, because we recognise the importance of ensuring people live in warmer homes.

“Now we want to go further, and use the new €1bn Green Infrastructure Fund to help fund a new energy efficiency plan that will not only deliver warmer homes, but also thousands of new jobs. By investing in energy efficiency programmes, Labour is standing up for green jobs and for families in our communities.”

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