Retrofitting revolution needed in Local Authority homes

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
08 November 2023

Labour climate spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan said the time has come for a retrofitting revolution in local authority homes.

Senator Moynihan urged Government to increase funding to local authority housing projects under the Warmer Homes Scheme and to work with local authorities to ensure complexes such as Oliver Bond are wholly retrofitted, not just as people move in.

Senator Moynihan said:

“We need a retrofitting revolution, particularly in homes owned by local authorities. The National Retrofitting Plan is not targeting the most vulnerable in our society, so we need a rethink and a refocus from Government.

“Local authority homes nationwide are in dire need of deep retrofitting to make homes warmer, more secure and efficient.

“Of the approximately 140,000 local authority housing units nationwide, 27% are at a B2 BER standard, 75,000 or 54% have had a shallow retrofit of C1, and the remaining fifth (27,000) need to be prioritised for action.

“The current energy efficiency retrofit budget for local authority housing is €87 million, which will only cover the retrofit of 2,400 homes.

“This is far short of the Programme for Government target of 36,500 retrofits by 2030.

“It’s incredible that Government are failing to deliver on a retrofitting revolution for those who need it most. Too many households are already facing the prospect of choosing between heating or eating this winter.

“Tackling retrofitting will ensure people have warm homes that won’t cost them an arm and a leg to heat. So, why the delay?

“This conservative coalition continues to fail the most vulnerable in our society. People and families living in local authority homes should have well insulated, warm homes. This is a bare minimum demand.

“In Labour’s Alternative Budget, we called for an additional €100 million to be allocated to the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, which would allow for 5,000 local authority homes to be deep retrofitted next year. This would bring the total investment in the scheme to €187 million.

“Retrofitting our local authority housing stock is not just about improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. It is also about tackling energy poverty and improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

“There can be no further delay. The Climate Department must increase funding for the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme to be made available to Local Authorities for the retrofitting for whole Local Authority complexes in a timely fashion.

“This investment is crucial for our future and the well-being of the most vulnerable in society.”

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