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21/09/2021

Deal sealed for Laois council house retrofitting that includes removal of solid fuel heating

Deal sealed for Laois council house retrofitting that includes removal of solid fuel heating

Laois County Council Cathaoirleach inks contract for Laois council house retrofitting at Laois County Council HQ in Portlaoise. Picture: Michael Scully

Laois County Council has signed the contracts for retrofitting of 62 local authority-owned houses in the county.

The council says the retrofitting of homes in Mountain View, Portlaoise, Quigley Park Rathdowney and Radharc Alainn, Arles will result in warmer, more comfortable homes and benefit householders’ health through improved air quality.

After the works, it is claimed that the Building Energy Ratings (BER) of homes will typically have gone from an E- or D- rating to a B2. They will be expected to be substantially cheaper to heat than similar homes heated by oil or gas.

A council statement says the works, which are part of the Midlands Retrofit Programme have been awarded to Retrofit Design Ltd who will be working in conjunction with BCD Energy Consultants and Laois County Council.

Construction works are due to begin in Q3 2021 and works will typically involve insulation, upgrades of windows and doors and installation of heat pumps (renewable energy heating systems), as committed to under the Programme for Government.
It is claimed that this will help Ireland’s efforts to combat climate change.

John Mulholland, Chief Executive Laois County Council backed the scheme for being good for the environment and give people more comfortable homes in the process.

“This retrofitting programme will allow Laois County Council to further progress the business of taking action at local level to reduce carbon emissions and to improve the domestic comfort of many people that reside in publicly owned building stock around the County,” he said.

The council says retrofitting of homes means actions to improve the building’s insulation or heating systems to improve its energy efficiency. Under the programme, selected council-owned houses in the Midlands region will be retrofitted to a BER of “B2” (or to a cost-optimal level).

It says works will typically involve insulation of attics, walls and roofs; upgrading of windows and doors; replacement of heating systems with heat pumps; and the installation of LED lighting. It should result in the BER of a house improving from a D- or E- to a B2.

The benefits include:

  • Easier to heat all rooms.
  • Improved comfort from insulation.
  • No ash from solid fuel boilers.
  • Indoor air quality improved.
  • Outdoor air quality is improved.
  • More convenient heating. 
  • No longer the need to regularly feed a solid fuel heat sources.
  • Less carbon dioxide.
  • Helps combat climate change.

The Midlands Retrofit Programme is part of the Government’s Just Transition for the Midlands. Under Budget 2020, €20 million was allocated from the Carbon Tax to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to target the retrofitting of approximately 750 homes in the Midlands. Eight counties are included in the Midlands Retrofit Programme. 

The contract signing at for the Social Housing Retrofitting scheme was attended at Laois County Council by: John Mulholland (Chief Executive, Laois Coounty Council), Cllr Conor Bergin (Cathaoirleach Laois Co Co) and Chris Scanlon (Retrofit Design Ltd). Pat Treacy ( Laois Co Co), Joe Delaney ( Laois Co Co) and Trevor Hennessy (Acting Senior Engineer, Laois Co Co), Thomas Campion ( B.C.D. Energy) and Denis O'Connor (Retrofit Design Ltd). 

For info : www.housing.gov.ie/housing/building-standards/energy-performance-buildings/midlands-retrofit-programme-local-authority

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