Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD, has launched Better Energy – The National Upgrade Programme, which is designed to streamline the existing residential programmes, support jobs and help consumers lower their energy bills.
The Programme will replace the three existing programmes: Home Energy Saving Scheme (HES), Warmer Homes Scheme (WHS) and Greener Homes Scheme (GHS), under one umbrella. According to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, this will build upon what was good about the existing grant schemes and be a transition to an upfront discount rather than a retrospective grant and a national pay-as-you-save scheme.
The key elements of the new programme include:
* An additional Eur30m 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, intended to foster sustained jobs and savings in this area.
Welcoming the allocation of an additional Eur30 million towards the new programme, Minister Rabbitte says: “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.”
Minister Rabbitte adds: “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.”