Government to launch new phase of Greener Homes scheme, while Northern Ireland launches its own scheme

The Irish government is to relaunch a grant scheme for domestic renewables after receiving unprecedented interest from householders.

The Greener Homes Scheme was developed to stimulate demand for renewab technologies. Since the grant was introduced in March 2006 it has awarded 16,000 grants to 47 million euros to home owners across Ireland and applications under this scheme will no longer be accepted.

Ireland has seen a dramatic increase in the number of renewable technology suppliers since the introduction of the scheme with boilers that run on renewable fuel biomass being the most popular products to date.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan said: “Greener Homes has fulfilled its objectives. Rather than concluding the scheme, I have decided that a new phase with revised terms and conditions is necessary to continue this good work.”

Additional funding given to the scheme will allow funding to similar energy grants for lower-income housing, schools and community schemes across Ireland as well as the expansion of other innovative heating technologies.

The announcement comes as Northern Ireland announced that up to 4,000 homes could install green energy technology using official subsidies by next year. Energy Minister Nigel Dodds is hoping to promote systems for solar water heating and wind turbines in homes by providing 50% grants. Northern Ireland currently generates 95% of its power through traditional fuels such as gas and oil and the new measures will provide assistance for installing green features to homes such as, heat pumps, wood pellet burning and hydro-electric technology.

Ben Collins, director of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in Northern Ireland said: “Property is one of the biggest emitters or carbon emissions and the onus is on all parties, including government, homeowners, businesses and the property industry, to introduce and support measures that lead to a lower carbon future.”