Home Correctional service Low-cost loans for deep home renovations won’t be available until summer

Low-cost loans for deep home renovations won’t be available until summer


Low-cost loans to supplement state grants for deep renovation will not be available until summer, the government announced on Tuesday.

However, with the new €8billion scheme set to provide up to €25,000 towards the cost of works, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan told a press conference in Dublin that people Might also seek financing from existing lenders, or consider financing non-self-financed parts of their renovation projects.

Once in place, the low-cost loan element will aim to provide financing at an interest rate of between 3-3.5%, lower than most personal loans available in the market today.

However, the government will have to tackle labor shortages and capacity constraints.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Coalition “finds difficulty” in getting people to take relevant courses and encouraged people to get into construction.

The challenge facing the state in achieving its goals is considerable. Ministers were warned in a private memo that an “exponential” increase in deliveries was needed.

While 15,500 home renovations were completed last year, only 4,600 were completed at a B2 level in the state’s energy rating system — 500,000 are due for delivery by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, the workforce is to quadruple, from 4,000 to 17,000 by the middle of the decade, ministers have been told. About 8,600 homes will be built to the B2 standard this year.

“Huge Step”

The scheme will see government grants of between 45 and 51% of the cost of a project, compared to the current system, which funded between 30 and 35%. An emergency scheme to cover the cost of attic and cavity insulation will cover up to 80% of the costs – but this will be reviewed after a year, it is understood, and could be withdrawn or revised.

Mr Ryan said the program is a ‘huge step in the right direction’ and would create a pipeline of significant upgrades that would leave the state’s housing stock ‘future-ready’. . . where whoever buys it knows they have a future-worthy home and will pay more for that home.”

The scheme is expected to be able to cut energy bills by up to €100 a month, with grants available in the days and weeks to come, including through a ‘one-stop-shop’ system that will help homeowners throughout the process by managing the grants and subcontractors involved in the work.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the government’s climate action plan targets were “hugely ambitious” and “will require real change in all aspects of our economy and society”.

He said, however, that the renovation program would also make homes more comfortable, making the state less vulnerable to energy price volatility and less dependent on imports “from an increasingly unpredictable world.”

Fuel poverty

The government has also announced that it will reform the existing Better Energy Homes scheme, increasing the level of grants available in line with those provided under the new scheme and allowing people to invest in increments, rather than in a large investment as part of the deep renovation program. Fewer upgrades will be available to those who move piecemeal, and they will need to fund the work up front before claiming their grant.

Households in fuel poverty will still be able to apply for 100% financing, but the criteria will change once a current backlog of around 7,000 households has been cleared. New applicants will see older homes prioritized for investment, potentially leading to longer wait times for those in newer homes who are still living in fuel poverty.

The average wait time is currently 26 months, due to a Covid backlog, and those applying under the new criteria can expect to wait between 18 and 24 months.