Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on Minister Eamon Ryan to prioritise the urgent delivery of basic attic and cavity wall insulations at scale, to help people save on their energy bills, reduce heat loss and cut carbon emissions.
His comments come as figures he has received shows 500,000 homes could benefit from more attic insulation, but fewer than 5,000 houses got such works completed in both 2020 and 2021.
The Meath East TD said:
“On average, a home loses 20-30% of its heat through its roof and external walls if they are not properly insulated.
“Attic and cavity wall insulation is a simple, quick measure that can help reduce heat loss from a home, cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.
“Unfortunately, the number of shallow retrofit completions has fallen off a cliff over the past decade.
“In 2011, even at the height of the economic crisis, 51,577 attic insulations were carried out. In 2020 and 2021, this figure had dropped to below 5,000 annually.
“At this pace, it will take 100 years to complete the 500,000 homes that would benefit from additional attic insulation, as indicated by the SEAI. It’s a crazy situation and proof-positive that the government’s retrofitting plan is not fit for purpose. It needs to be overhauled.
“If Fine Gael had maintained the number of attic insulations at 2011 levels when they took power, all homes requiring such works would have been completed by now, helping to save households considerable amounts on their heating bills during the current energy crisis.
“Minister Ryan needs to now prioritise these shallow retrofits, as figures show his deep retrofit scheme is failing to deliver, with just 89 deep retrofits completed this year under the new One Stop Shop scheme.
“Sinn Féin believes accelerating the rollout of attic and cavity wall insulations is the right solution now, given the dire energy situation many people are facing this winter. This is a call echoed by the Climate Change Advisory Council, Friends of the Earth Ireland and others.
“100% grants for attic and wall insulation and removing the administrative burden on households should form part of this plan. Minister Ryan should act immediately.”