O’Sullivan concerned over wait times in Warmer Homes Scheme
Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan TD has expressed concern about the long waiting times being faced by those on low incomes looking to retrofit their homes under the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme.
The comments come after PQ replies tabled by Deputy O’Sullivan to the Climate Change Minister showed wait times of between eight and 11 months.
Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“We’ve heard a lot from Government recently on their plans to combat climate change, however on the ground things are still moving at a snail’s pace.
“I’ve been contacted by several people in my constituency who have applied for, but still not had their homes retrofitted under the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, and look set to miss out again this winter.
“In response to Parliamentary Questions I tabled to Minister Bruton on the topic, the official average waiting time from date of application to date of work being finished for shallow measures is eight months, and 11 months for deeper measures.
“This is quite simply, far too long.
“Any hikes in the Carbon Tax in the upcoming Budget will hit the poorest in society who are on fuel allowance, are elderly or carers, and generally live in older homes that are extremely energy inefficient.
“The Warmer Homes Scheme is vital to improving the energy efficiency and warmth of homes for those on low incomes, but it’s effectiveness is being hampered by long waiting times, with many set to face a cold winter as a result.
“If the Government is really serious about reducing our reliance on fossil fuels it needs to get its house in order and speed up these wait times for those already in fuel poverty.”