Displaying items by tag: GOVERNMENT - passivehouseplus.ie

A housing boom without the houses?

There was much talk of jobless recovery as economies picked up after the last global recession. Mel Reynolds detects signs of an analogous proposition in the Irish property market: a housing boom that may be close to peaking without much in the way of housebuilding to report.

Dublin City Council officials defy councillors on passive house vote

Unelected officials in Dublin City Council have rejected the decision by city councillors to make the passive house standard or equivalent energy performance standards a mandatory planning condition for all new buildings in the city. The council also included a statement to protect the route of the controversial Eastern Bypass, in spite of councillors voting against it. 

EU president sets passive precedent

Motivated by the experience of building and living in a passive house, one of Ireland’s leading political figures has become a public advocate for the standard. Passive House Plus visited the house to find out why.

Dún Laoghaire votes emphatically for passive house standard

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council has voted emphatically to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings. At a meeting on Tuesday night, councillors voted by 26 votes to 13 in support of putting the clause in the local authority’s development plan for 2016 to 2022.

Business leaders support Dún Laoghaire Rathdown passive house plan

Leading businesses in the building materials sector — including semi-state timber company Coillte and insulation manufacturer Kingspan — have declared their support for plans by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings.

Department of the Environment objects to higher housing standards

The Department of the Environment has written to Dublin’s local authorities warning against adopting higher quality housing standards – and threatened to overrule Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s proposal to mandate the passive house standard – in correspondence obtained by Passive House Plus magazine.

Irish government increases energy efficiency grants

Irish minister for energy Alex White has announced a boost in the level of grants available to householders who want to undertake energy efficiency improvements. The cash value of every grant available to householders under the Better Energy Homes Scheme has been increased by between 25 to 50%. In addition, a bonus payment has been introduced which will see householders receive bonus payments if they complete three or more energy efficiency improvements.

Bord Gáis calls it quits on home insulation business

Bord Gáis has ceased offering home insulation products and boiler installations through its Home Team division due to a drop off in demand. The company will continue to offer boiler servicing and repair.

The move reflects the recent nationwide decline in home energy upgrades, a trend that is investigated in the new issue of Construct Ireland.

Two thirds of new Irish homes fail energy efficiency rules

Less than a third of new Irish homes meet energy efficiency and carbon emissions regulations, according to new figures. The number of new homes meeting the rules has also declined dramatically since 2005, according to data released by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Brian Motherway named new chief executive of SEAI

Dr Brian Motherway has been appointed chief executive officer of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Motherway joined SEAI in 2006 and has recently held the role of chief operations officer. He holds bachelor and master's degrees in chemical engineering and a PhD in Sociology.

Government launches public consultation on building control

The government has launched a public consultation on its proposed new building control regulations. Environment minister Phil Hogan announced the new rules last year following the high profile failure of the Priory Hall development in Dublin to meet fire regulations, but details have just been released.

Cuts to insulation grants will cost jobs, warns Construct Ireland

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The government's cuts to its Better Energy grants will cost jobs and make it extremely difficult for Ireland to meet its retrofit and energy reduction targets, green building magazine Construct Ireland has warned.

Following the budget, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland reduced grants for cavity wall insulation from €320 to €350. Grants for internal and external wall insulation were also reduced — previously these were €2,000 and and €4,000 respectively, but now separate rates have been introduced for different house types, with the maximum being €1,800 for internal insulation and €3,600 for external.

Green groups criticse new EU energy efficiency plan

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Environmental groups have criticised the EU's new Energy Efficiency Directive for failing to mandate member states to make big energy savings over the next decade.

According to the European Commission, the plan will deliver 20% energy savings across the union by 2020. However, Friends of the Earth said the directive would "not make savings to the extent promised, or on the scale needed to fight climate change".

Six-week consultation on green public procurement launched

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The government has published its draft national action plan on green public procurement (GPP). Environment minister Phil Hogan said the plan, when finalised later this year, will apply to all personnel involved in procurement across the public sector.

The plan aims to ensure the government purchases sustainable products and services in areas such as construction, energy, food and transport.

Grants for heat pumps and biomass boilers withdrawn

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The government is withdrawing grant support for heat pumps and biomass boilers and reducing grants for other energy efficiency upgrades as part of its new Better Energy national building upgrade programme.
 
The government has allocated an additional €30m to the programme this year in addition to the €60m set aside in this year's budget. It expects the extra funding to support an additional 2,000 jobs in the retrofit sector in 2011.

Renewable energy in Ireland grew 15% in last 4 years

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Renewable energy in Ireland grew by an average of 15% per annum from 2005 to 2009 driven largely by a significant growth in wind energy of 28% per annum in that period, according to SEAI's latest Energy in Ireland report. Last year also witnessed a steady trend towards lower energy prices in Ireland for both domestic and business energy users.

Energy upgrade programmes escape budget cuts

Minister Eamon Ryan
Government subsidies for energy efficiency and renewable energy have come through Budget 2011 unscathed in spite of swinging cuts across the economy.

Energy minister Eamon Ryan TD has announced a budget of €99m for energy upgrading Irish buildings in 2011 as the government ramps up for the launch of the National Energy Retrofit Programme (NERP).

Irish business leaders back green procurement

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A new coalition of Irish business leaders has issued an open letter urging the government to leverage the State’s €17bn annual procurement spend to develop the green economy.

The CEOs and managing directors of companies including Siemens Ireland, Airtricity, Ecocem, Glen Dimplex and Bord Gais have signed up to Green for Growth, a coalition calling for the state to commit to buying greener goods and services to keep Ireland competitive domestically and internationally.

Green business leaders to sign open letter to government

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Green for Growth, a coalition of leading Irish businesses set up to demand strong government leadership on green procurement, will be launched tomorrow, Friday 14 May 2010 in The Annesley Suite, Alexander Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin 2 at 12pm. The coalition has been organised by Construct Ireland magazine.

Government to introduce carbon windfall tax

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Energy minister Eamon Ryan has announced that the government plans to recoup some of the profits big electricity generators have made through the EU's emissions trading scheme. 

Pay-as-you-save scheme launched in the UK

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The energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, has announced details of a "green loans" scheme to help people pay for improvements to their homes to make them more energy efficient.

The scheme, which would see loans remain attached to the house where insulation, solar panels or other green technology was installed, aims to overcome the financial barriers and upfront costs people face when trying make their homes greener.

Green tax incentives for Irish businesses extended

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Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced the extension of the Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme. The Scheme, detailed in the Finance Bill, allows companies to buy energy efficient equipment and write off its full cost against corporation tax in the year of purchase.
 

Increase in energy use in Irish buildings despite recession

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Rising energy use in buildings contributed to an increase of 1.5% in overall energy demand in 2008, despite the economy contracting by 3% over the same period, a new report from Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) reveals today.

EPA chief calls for urgent action on green economy

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IRELAND CANNOT afford to wait before investing in the green economy, the director general of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual conference, Mary Kelly said there were significant economic opportunities for Ireland in becoming a low-carbon and greener economy.

Annual energy savings reached Eur750 million in 2007

Prof J Owen Lewis, CEO, Sustainable Energy Ireland
The Irish economy recorded savings of €750 million in 2007 as a result of energy efficiency measures undertaken since 1995. The economy recorded a 10 per cent improvement in energy efficiency between 1995 and 2007 and the savings made in 2007 alone were the equivalent to the annual energy usage of half a million houses.
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