An energy upgrade is needed on all council houses, as Cllr Clare Spollen has revealed she knows of one family who are unable to turn on their bedroom lights as there is damp leaking down the light fixture.
“I was in a council house last week where there were three children in one bedroom and there was damp coming down the light, they couldn’t switch on the light,” said Cllr Spollen, speaking at last week’s meeting of Portlaoise Town Council in County Hall.
Cllr Spollen’s SF colleague Cllr Caroline Dwane had proposed a motion, calling on Laois County Council to do an energy upgrade on all its existing housing stock that need it.
“Fuel is very expensive and it puts pressure on low-income houses,” said Cllr Dwane.
Cllr Dwane asked whether the council could install little stoves in houses and remove the open fires, which would double the heat in the house at half the amount of fuel.
Some re-let council houses have already had these stoves installed, but at the owner’s cost.
Housing officer, Michael Rainey explained that in 2013 attic and wall insulation works were carried out on 333 council properties. The original allocation of €183,000 was doubled initially and then a further supplementary allocation was provided, bringing the final allocation for 2013 to €483,937. The 2014 allocation has not yet been confirmed.
“We’re waiting on a circular telling us what to spend the money on this year,” he said.