A total of €68 million has been allocated for energy efficiency and renewable energy in 2016. An increased allocation will see the Better Energy Programme support an estimated 2,750 jobs, and several new initiatives will boost the energy efficiency of Irish homes, businesses and buildings.
An increased budget allocation will allow the Better Energy Homes scheme to provide more grants to householders who want to improve their energy efficiency. Applications are up 78% since the re-launch of the scheme last March, when the value of grants was increased.
There’s also an increased allocation for the Better Energy Communities scheme, which was 300% over-subscribed in 2015. This will enable more community groups to improve the energy efficiency of homes, local businesses, community facilities and sports clubs.
Continued funding for the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme will underpin the continued provision of free energy efficiency upgrades to households at risk of energy poverty.
A pilot energy efficiency programme, targeted at people who suffer from acute health conditions and live in poorly-insulated homes, will be launched as part of a new Affordable Energy Strategy in 2016.
Businesses will be incentivised to switch to renewable energy through a Renewable Heat Incentive to be introduced in 2016.
Grants for motorists who switch to electric vehicles are being maintained at their current levels, but an extra €1 million has been allocated for the scheme to reflect the anticipated increase in sales of electric vehicles in 2016.
In addition, €4.5 million will be made available for ocean energy research activities.
Full Details are in the Minister's Press Release