Laois council gets millions of carbon tax euro for greener energy-efficient homes

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

laois

Laois council gets big grant .

People living in some Laois council houses could soon have more comfort and be may have smaller energy bills under a multi-million euro carbon tax grant programme.

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the approval given at Cabinet for the allocation of €20 million from the carbon tax to eight local authorities under the Midlands Retrofit Project.

Under the proposed allocations Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Westmeath and Longford Local Authorities are to receive €3.33 million each and Roscommon, Galway and Tipperary are to receive €1.11 million each.

Works are expected to commence in Longford, Kildare and Galway in October and in Roscommon in November. Laois is among the remaining four local authorities are currently commencing surveys.

Commenting Minister O’Brien said households and local economies would benefit.

“This allocation will provide for energy efficiency renovations to approximately 750 local authority homes. This funding will also help provide an economic stimulus to the regions most affected by Bord na Móna and ESB closures.

“The Programme for Government contains ambitious targets for retrofitting and this scheme marks the start of that and will upgrade the energy efficiency of social housing stock in the midlands. It aims to upgrade properties to B2 Building Energy Rating or cost-optimal level with heat pumps where appropriate.

“The focus of the retrofit programme will begin in the midlands, where fossil fuel use is highest, and where communities have been negatively impacted by the closure of peat-fired power stations. It is expected that works to each dwelling will take approximately three to four weeks with minimal internal disruption to the occupants. I’d like to thank the local authorities for their work in this regard and look forward to this scheme progressing,” concluded Minister O’Brien.

Minister of State and Laois Offaly TD Seán Fleming looked forward to work commencing.

"These works will include energy efficiency improvements, which will upgrade Building Energy Rating of these homes. This will be very welcome for the residents of these houses. I look forward to the works commencing as soon as possible," concluded Minister Fleming.  

The funding of €20 million was allocated in Budget 2020 from the Carbon Tax which Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly, Barry Cowen said his party negotiated.

“The Programme for Government contains ambitious targets for retrofitting and this scheme marks the start of that and will upgrade the energy efficiency of social housing stock in the Midlands. It aims to upgrade properties to B2 Building Energy Rating or cost-optimal level with heat pumps where appropriate. This is something I have worked hard to achieve in the last budget, so it is good news for the Midlands,” said Deputy Cowen.

He added that it is expected that works to each dwelling will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks.