“Energy Upgrade Schemes must be made accessible to all” – MacManus
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called for energy upgrade schemes provided by the SEAI to be made accessible to all. The Midlands Northwest representative was speaking after meeting with Eugene Conlon, Manager of Dunleer Energy Team at Dunleer Market House alongside his Sinn Féin colleague Cllr Pearse McGeough.
MEP MacManus said:
“I was delighted to visit the Market House in Dunleer and meet with Eugene Conlon, Manager of the Dunleer Energy Team, alongside my colleague Cllr Pearse McGeough.
“The Energy Team provides a fantastic service, providing education on conserving energy use, assisting with grant applications for energy upgrades, managing the retrofit of your home and much more. They have made an enormous difference in their community, assisting in 310 retrofits so far, and I would like to commend them for their work.
“Energy upgrades are hugely important for increasing our energy efficiency and meeting our carbon emissions targets. They also benefit households by allowing them to use less energy and save money on their bills, which is especially important given the spiralling cost of energy at the moment.
“However, cost is a major barrier to many households from undergoing upgrades and the Government’s energy upgrade schemes provided by the SEAI must be made accessible to all. There are a large number of households who don’t qualify for free upgrades but also don’t have the resources necessary to access the SEAI One Stop Shop service.
“In addition the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme, which is aimed at the most vulnerable households, now has 9,000 people on its waiting list and the wait time has shot up to 27 months. Therefore the Government’s retrofit plan is prioritizing those with means over those most in need.
“Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has published proposals for a fairer retrofit plan to target funding at the poorest, coldest, and most carbon intensive homes. He has proposed replacing the Better Energy Warmer Homes with a new scheme that would see free home energy upgrades for currently eligible social welfare recipients continue, and would also introduce tiered grant support ranging from 65% to 100% funded deep retrofits for low-and middle-income households, dependent on income, and an increase in funding for Local Authority upgrades.
“Sinn Féin’s plan would both cut our carbon emissions and reduce energy poverty and inequality in our society and should be implemented by Government. ENDS
Pictured at Dunleer Market House are (L-R): Cllr Pearse McGeough, Eugene Conlon, Chris MacManus MEP