Government will not compensate homeowners denied grants under cancelled retro-fit scheme

Government will not compensate homeowners denied grants under cancelled retro-fit scheme

The Finance Minister has ruled out proving extra funding for homeowners who have now been denied grants under a cancelled deep retro-fit scheme.

There had been demands that the Government compensate hundreds of people who have been now been left significantly out-of-pocket after the closure of a scheme to make homes more environmentally efficient.

The Department of Environment has confirmed that homeowners who carried out work on their properties before getting a formal retro-fit grant approval letter will not be paid.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said if he provides additional money to one Departments others would also be lining up with funding requests: "We have a very large budget in place for this year, for many many departments the funding that they now have available goes back to where we were at the pre-crisis level.

We do have a budget and I require my colleagues and I to work within the parameters of that.

The Government has come under criticism for allowing the SEAI deep retro-fit scheme to continue to accept applications after the total funding had been spent.

The grant was to provide 50% of the price of extensive household energy upgrades, which can cost homeowners well over €100,000

A spokesperson from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment confirmed that only people who receive an official letter of grant offer from SEAI will receive money: "Under the conditions of the scheme, no project should commence until a letter of offer has issued.

"In addition, it is a condition of the scheme that any costs that predate a formal grant approval letter of offer will not be paid."

The Department said it is investing "significant amounts" of money to make it easier for people to make their homes more energy-efficient as part of their climate action plan to provide warmer homes, cleaner air and a better quality of life.

"The Deep Retrofit Pilot was launched as a time-bound pilot to investigate the challenges and opportunities of deep retrofit in Ireland.

"Deep Retrofit involves getting multiple energy upgrades all at once."

Some 120 homes were retrofitted in 2017 and 139 in 2018 with €4.7million paid out under the grant last year.

"In 2019, the Department allocated €10m to SEAI to invest in the deep retrofit pilot, which is a doubling of the 2018 spend.

"In total across the scheme SEAI has made grant offers to retrofit 350 houses. 265 of these have been completed and in-depth evaluations are already underway," the spokesperson said.


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