October 7, 2022
Lost decade on basic insulation adding to energy crisis for many – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has said Fine Gael’s failure to shallow-retrofit homes over the past decade is compounding the energy crisis for many right now.

He was speaking as figures he received from the SEAI show attic and cavity wall insulation numbers plummeted by 85% over the past decade.

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 quick, more affordable measure that can help reduce heat loss from a home, cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

“Unfortunately, Fine Gael failed to capitalise on this low hanging fruit over the past decade, with the number of shallow-retrofits falling by 85% from 2011-2019.

“In 2011, at the height of the economic crisis, 51,577 roof insulations were carried out, but by 2019, this figure had dropped to 7,562.

“These are pre-pandemic figures, so the government cannot reach for one of their frequently used excuses.

“The failure to insulate homes to a basic standard over the past decade is now resulting in massively unaffordable heating bills for those living in older, colder homes.

“While the increased grant level for attic and wall insulation announced earlier this year is welcome, administrative red tape and the up-front financial requirement is still acting as a barrier for most.

“We believe the government needs to accelerate the rollout of attic and cavity wall insulation, given the dire situation many people are facing this winter.

“100% grants for attic and wall insulation and removing the administrative burden needs to form part of this plan.

“Given the extraordinary price of now heating a home, an emergency response is needed to ensure people don’t go cold this winter.” 

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