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Free energy efficiency upgrades available to some Dublin families

The scheme launched earlier this year in Dublin 12 and 24 and will now expand to Dublin 8, 10 and 22.

Image: Shutterstock/Cebas

SOME FAMILIES IN Dublin will be able to avail of free energy efficiency upgrades as a pilot scheme is expanded.

The Warmth & Wellbeing scheme began providing free upgrades to people over the age of 55 who are in energy poverty and living with respiratory conditions in Dublin 12 and 24 earlier this year.

From next year it will be expanded to include families with young children and three additional areas of Dublin will also be included, Dublin 8, 10 and 22.

Some €10 million was allocated in Budget 2017 to expand the scheme next year. It’s anticipated that this will provide for the upgrade of between 700-800 homes.

These additional areas were selected on the basis of HSE advice as they contain a high level of social deprivation and can be covered by the existing HSE team as they are in the same hospital catchment areas that the scheme currently operates in.

Respiratory illness

Ireland has some of the highest rates of respiratory illness in the world. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects over 110,000 people and is responsible for 10% of all hospital admissions and almost a quarter of all deaths.

It’s also estimated that more than 470,000 people in Ireland suffer from asthma. This results in an extra 20,000 emergency department hospital visits, leading to 15,000 bed nights being taken up by asthma sufferers in our hospitals each year.

Damp homes and air quality are universally regarded as key contributing factors to both conditions.

The Warmth & Wellbeing scheme is being delivered by a HSE team who will guide people through the application process.

The team work with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who will perform a needs-based assessment of what upgrades each home needs, then commission those upgrades.

As a means-tested scheme, it is available free of charge to households in receipt of the Fuel Allowance or One-Parent Family payment.

For applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland offers free energy efficiency upgrades to those in energy poverty under the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme.

Read: A massive chunk of the 1916 Jacob’s Tricolour has been handed back to Ireland>

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