A new climate strategy launched by the Government is set to affect almost every aspect of our daily lives. The plan will affect transport, single-use plastics and private pensions, to mention just a few. Large sections of the plan also deal with home construction, renovations and retrofitting, stating there is a need for a “major house retrofitting programme in the Midlands”. According to reports, this is to be considered in the context of a scheme that will allow householders to take out small loans which can be repaid over time through their electricity bill or an increase in the local property tax. Every home will have to obtain a Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER) to certify the property’s efficiency by a date yet to be agreed. It’s also proposed that all buildings undergoing a major renovation (affecting more than 25% of the premises) must bring the rest of the building up to a minimum BER of B2.

The installation of oil boilers is also to be banned from 2022 and gas boilers will be outlawed from 2025 in all new dwellings. Plans will also be developed for ways of having oil and gas boilers replaced in existing homes, but no new regulations will be introduced before 2026.
Carbon tax changes are also set to affect how we heat our homes. By 2030, the price of a bale of briquettes will rise by around €1.60 and a 40kg bag of coal would increase well over €7 before natural inflation is factored in.

Speaking at the launch of the Climate Action Plan, An Taoiseach said the government would establish a Climate Action Delivery Board in the Department of the Taoiseach to oversee its implementation. “Our approach is not a coercive one,” he said. “It’s to nudge people and businesses to change their behaviour.”

Denise Maguire
Irish Construction Industry Magazine