The National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme aims to retrofit 500,000 homes to a higher standard by 2030.
There is “demand” among the public for a new Governo home insulation scheme, Eamon Ryan has said.
O Green Party leader and Environment Minister was quizzed on Wednesday about the Government plan, which will see homeowners able to apply for grants to cover up to half the cost to deep retrofit their homes.
The National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme aims to retrofit 500,000 homes to B2 Building Energy Rating standard by 2030, representing almost a third of the country’s housing stock.
The scheme also has a target of installing 400,000 heat pumps.
Government officials have described it as one of the biggest and most challenging capital infrastructure projects in the state.
Mr Ryan said the scheme will be “transformative” over the coming decades.
Ele disse RTE rádio: “Having a warm home, which is not expensive to keep warm, is a huge benefit. It is a benefit economically, em primeiro lugar, not having to pay those bills.”
Likening it to the nationwide switch to central heating in the previous century, ele disse: “We have done it before and this is another switch. It is a switch to a better heating system.”
He said the scheme would deliver certainty to the construction sector and insisted it will also benefit households across the country.
“My sense is that the demand is there," ele disse.
“Pessoas do want a good home.”
“People like the fact, if they can invest in their own home in a way that saves them money, doing the right thing on the climate side, but also increases the value of that home.”
Under Government plans, householders can apply for grants of up to 25,000 euro to help pay towards increasing their home’s energy efficiency.
The scheme will cover almost half the cost – around 45-51% – to complete a deep retrofit of a house to bring it to a B2 rating.
The Government hopes the package of support will make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to upgrade their homes.
The scheme is being delivered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Under the plans, 400 households at risk of energy poverty will be eligible for free energy upgrades.
[object Window] could save between 50 e 100 euro a month on energy bills.
There are also plans to create “one-stop shops”, allowing people to upgrade their homes all in one go, and provide an end-to-end service for homeowners.
The scheme comes as the Government faces accusations from opposition parties that it is “out of touch” when it comes to the spiralling cost of living.
Sinn Fein, as well as other parties, has called for the planned increase in the carbon tax in May to be axed.
Comments by Fianna Fail junior minister Sean Fleming, who suggested that people should shop around or switch suppliers to reduce energy costs, also sparked anger this week.
Mr Ryan said the comments sent the “wrong message” and were “very unfortunate”.
He said Mr Fleming had apologised.
Contudo, he defended the efforts of the Government to reduce the cost of living and insisted the carbon tax was not linked to a rise in energy prices.
“It is related to international factors," ele disse.
He said revenue from the carbon tax is “set aside” to protect people against fuel poverty, as well as going towards retrofitting grants.
“That carbon tax revenue makes sense because it will allow our people to live in warm, healthy homes and that is transformative.
“Sometimes, the State needs to be there, to actually set a policy, to actually create an environment that we collectively do something that is good for us.”
He promised “targeted initiatives” in the coming days, but rejected the idea a larger rethink is needed to tackle the cost of living crisis.
“I don’t think we need to do a budget now," ele disse.