The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has welcomed the Government’s historic investment in sustainable energy action, as set out in Budget 2021. This is a significant milestone for both Irish society and the economy as we take fossil fuels out of Ireland’s energy mix, in a just fashion.
This commitment means that homes will be more comfortable, businesses more competitive, transport less polluting and our energy supply more affordable and secure. It will also place Ireland on a stronger footing in the fight against climate change, enabling everyone to play their part.
SEAI’s budget, which is also part funded through carbon tax, has increased more than 50% to approximately €350m. This additional funding will support:
- National Retrofit: The launch of the national retrofit programme through SEAI with significant scaling up and streamlining of retrofit programmes for homes and communities. The total allocation for homes and community retrofit is €221m. This represents a €100m, or 82% increase, on this year’s budget with the increase funded through carbon tax revenue. This allocation includes additional supports for low income homes with a budget of €109m.
- Communities: An enabling framework for communities who want to invest in renewable energy projects
- Transport: the continued support for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure and a national campaign to encourage the take up of electric vehicles
- Businesses: Substantial increase in supports for all sectors of business including energy management and capital investment
- Public sector: An expanded support structure for public bodies, spanning energy management, measurement of progress, and capital supports for deep building retrofit
- Research: Substantial additional scaling of SEAI’s research and innovation activities
Speaking about the investment, Mr William Walsh, Chief Executive of SEAI said: “SEAI continues to support Government in the implementation of sustainable energy policy. We have designed and managed successful programmes to engage and support all segments of the economy. Our dual focus has always been on value for the public purse and providing a strong evidence base for future policies and measures.”
SEAI also welcomed the Minister’s announcement that a new National Retrofit Office will be established in the SEAI as well as the commitment to additional staffing and funding for the organisation to drive achievement of our retrofit targets.
“SEAI is a key enabler of climate action in Ireland. This funding from Government will allow us to support all energy users to take more fossil fuels out of Ireland’s energy mix. It will also support cutting edge research and pilots. We are inviting all citizens, businesses and communities to join us on this movement by taking energy action.”
In conclusion Walsh said: “The recently published Climate Action Bill and this Budget demonstrates this Government’s commitment to follow through and deliver on our international targets. We look forward to working with, and supporting, our colleagues in the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, central Government and all stakeholders, to deliver these targets.”