Tackling energy poverty is a key priority for Government
Alex White TD has welcomed the publication by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, publication of Warmer Homes: A Strategy for Affordable Energy in Ireland the document sets out a vision for improving the affordability of energy for low-income households; ensuring that people can live in a warm and comfortable home that enhances the quality of their lives and supports good physical and mental health.
Deputy White commented “While the Government faces difficult economic decisions in the coming weeks, we will not forget those most in need – particularly as we face into another winter. We need a strategy that prioritises what can be done to protect low-income households.’
The strategy was developed by an inter-Departmental Group on Affordable Energy and includes 48 actions that will be implemented over the life of the strategy. Key highlights include:
- the introduction of minimum thermal efficiency standards for all properties offered for rent,
- reviewing the National Fuel and Household Benefits Schemes so see how we can target cash supports effectively and prioritise colder homes
- Achieving economies and harnessing community effort by the introduction of an area-based approach to mitigating energy poverty.
Deputy White added “This is not something we will achieve overnight. The Programme for Government was clear that we needed a new way of thinking energy poverty. The publication of this strategy marks a hugely important milestone in ensuring that we protect those most vulnerable in our society in a coordinated, cohesive and effective way.”
Importantly, the strategy also introduces a new approach to measuring energy poverty, which will help target at-risk households. The strategy will be implemented and monitored by the members of Inter-Departmental/Agency Group on Affordable Energy who will prioritise five work packages in the coming months (thermal efficiency standards, energy suppliers, area-based approach, data and information, and communication).