Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D, today launched Better Energy – The National Upgrade Programme which will streamline the existing residential programmes, support jobs and help consumers lower their energy bills. Welcoming the decision by the Minister for Finance to allocate an additional €30 million towards the new programme, Minister Rabbitte said, “Better Energy is a major step forward in this Government’s retrofitting programme. Given energy price trends and growing concerns over security of supply, the way we use energy is no longer simply a question of environmental responsibility but one of economic necessity. Every euro spent by homeowners and businesses on energy efficiency, not only brings about long term energy savings, but also helps support jobs and indigenous companies.”
The key elements of today’s announcement include:
- An additional €30M in Government funding in 2011
- The extra funding will support an additional 2,000 jobs in 2011
- The streamlining of programmes to make it easier for people to make an informed choice about the most suitable energy saving measure for them
- The involvement of the energy companies as partners in delivering energy savings.
- The start of the process of moving to new financial models such as pay as you save, which will foster sustained jobs and savings in this area.
Better Energy will be the main vehicle to bridge the gap of approximately 8,000GWh, identified under Ireland’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), in the achievement of our national 20% energy saving target between now and 2020.
Commenting at today’s launch, Minister Rabbitte added: “Ireland needs a strong green building sector, founded upon sustainable principles. Better Energy will help drive this agenda by building upon existing successful domestic grant programmes to take the scale of activity to a new level.”
Better Energy will replace the three existing programme: Home Energy Saving Scheme (HES), Warmer Homes Scheme (WHS) and Greener Homes Scheme (GHS), under one umbrella.