Retrofitting will make our homes warmer, improve our health and cut energy costs according to Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Minister Martin Heydon.

Speaking on the recent retrofitting announcement, Minister Heydon said, “A retrofitting scheme of this magnitude is really exciting. For the first time ever, Kildare residents will be able to avail of substantial grants and loans to retrofit their home.

“We are doing this in three keyways. First, by expanding the warmer homes scheme, where eligible homeowners who are most at risk of fuel poverty can receive 100% grants. Secondly, we are providing 80% grants for people who want smaller retrofits carried out, like attic and cavity wall insulation. Thirdly, we are introducing a One Stop Shop; a hassle-free, start-to-finish project management service, including access to financing for home energy upgrades.

“With these three main pillars, Kildare residents will have ease of access to grants that are financially affordable. Previously, some people would have found the task of retrofitting their home to be too expensive or too daunting with the amount of paperwork that was required, and homeowners were left to do it by themselves.

“By providing grants of 80% – 100%, we are dramatically reducing the financial burden upon people. Equally, the creation of One Stop Shops will handle all the work involved in carrying out a significant energy upgrade. They will carry out an assessment on your home, apply for the grants on offer, carry out the construction work and make sure everything is done to standard. They’ll also be overseen by the SEAI to ensure that everything is done to the highest possible standard. Many people will probably still opt to go directly to a contractor for smaller jobs, but the One Stop Shops will offer the expertise and skills needed for deeper retrofits.

“One Stop Shops will be registered in February and will be open from March for homeowner applications.

“During the 1960’s, there was a 15 to 20 year process of people switching from open fires over to central heating. This is the same concept but in the modern era and we are providing a simple solution-based system to make it financially viable and easy to retrofit your home. This is a really radical and ambitious project that aims to retrofit 500,000 homes by the end of the decade and 1.5 million homes within 30 years,” concluded Minister Heydon.