€20m pilot for energy efficiency to combat fuel poverty

A €20 million pilot project to improve energy efficiency in the homes of people with acute health conditions is due to commence this month (March), according to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR). It also envisages the future introduction of minimum thermal efficiency standards in rented accommodation. The scheme will be expanded next year to target low-income households with young children. The strategy also heralds a public consultation on proposals to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for rental accommodation. This would mean that, in time, properties could not be let unless they had a BER certificate above a certain standard. This would not be introduced before 2020, to give time for the property market to stabilise. It would then apply initially to new leases only, and it would be staged, starting with properties with the lowest BER rating. See press release and strategy for download here