If the intention was to actually increase the volume of home construction & retrofitting, the blindingly obvious step 1 would be to increase the capacity of the construction industry. Starting with all the government (local & national) bodies/departments/agencies plus semi-states taking on large numbers of apprentices several years ago. They (all the local authorities, housing agency, OPW, ESB, DAA, etc) should be training far more apprentices (in all areas) than they themselves require so there's some hope that what is a large excess for the government/semi-states might actually start filling some gaps in the private sector.
When the state/semi-state sector actually has some capacity they can then start directly retrofitting (and building) homes. Relying on the private sector to do (and do well) what is hasn't been doing well really ever in the past is delusional in my opinion.
The upper end of that scale at 8% is 1% higher than my credit union rate for home improvements, and more than twice their mortgage rate. The only people who are gonna avail of such gouging rates are the people who have no real alternatives, and probably can't afford the repayments anyway. The rate charged should be the cost of finance for the state (2.64% today apparently) plus an admin fee.
I disagree that it's "purposely designed to achieve nothing" though. I think that a bunch of smart and well meaning civil & public servants (including politicians) are trying very hard to come up with a perfect system that will deliver for the next 2 or 3 decades.
It's simply extremely unfortunate that a bunch of smart & well meaning civil & public servants trying very hard to come up with a perfect system that will deliver for the next 2 or 3 decades bears such a strong resemblance to a bunch of brain damaged monkeys randomly throwing poop at passersby and one another.
The harsh reality that a bunch of less smart civil & public servants trying to come up with a barely acceptable solution that can start delivering in the next 90 days would almost certainly get a far better result.
Trying to address a crisis that's worsening on a daily basis based solely on a strategy based on constantly changing assumptions & variables that's intended to deliver for the next 2 or 3 decades is utterly moronic. It's like someone who's reaction to waking up with their house on fire reacting by sitting on their bed with a pen & paper to design a fire inhibiting, detection, and suppression system to be installed in 3 months time: it's not gonna end well.
OK, but to keep this on track specifically for retrofitting (as opposed to construction in general)...
The programme for Government commitment is to upgrade 500,000 homes to B2 standard and to install 400,000 heat pumps by 2030.
(direct quote from IT, I'm not going to bother fact-checking that)
That's 62k homes a year for 8 years.
How many completed so far? 89. Not 89 thousand. 89. Source: Irish Examiner.
Like the continued avoidance of social housing construction or state inspections during construction, the government finds itself unable to effect any direct interventions.
We should expect failure unless something changes radically.
This isn't like transition to EVs, which will happen with minor tax interventions as the fleet is turned over. Houses don't get scrapped every 10-15 years.
What does happen is that houses change hands every 20 years or so, a process which usually involves finance. It ought to be possible to integrate upgrades into this natural turnover, incentivised with differential stamp duty. For instance: apply 20k stamp duty to all non-exempt houses for every step in the BER ratings under A3, to be applied 6 months after purchase. That will instantly devalue inefficient housing stock and free up the cash for upgrades.
My annual energy bill is about that, no chance of me paying someone the same to come out and take a look. I could just tell them what I want done, the whole thing is a gouge.
I'm not sure you can separate the general construction industry from the sector specifically aligned towards retrofitting, simply because so many people will do energy efficiency & general retrofitting/renovation together. For example, a plumber who is installing a system fit for an air-source heat pump as part of a retrofit is manifestly not installing such a system in a new build, and the relevant activity is therefore displaced from one part of the construction industry to another where both segments are already desperately short of skilled/professional resources. The only solution to that problem is increasing the size of the pool of skilled & professional persons to deliver what's required.
I see where you're coming from on different rates of stamp duty for different BER ratings. There's a lot of merit to that idea in fairness, although it'd probably (IMO) work better as a refund: ie, charge (whatever rate) punitive stamp duty immediately on the sale of the property, and get a refund when you submit an upgraded BER later. I don't think there should be any limit on the definition of "later" though. Say the punitive rate is progressive at 1% for the B's. 2% for the C's & 3% for D's or lower. So a €300k house at D3 get's hit with 18% of €54k of additional duty. It's upgraded to B3 a few years later, and you get a refund of €45k. That would be motivating.
Yeah, the 400k retrofits by 2030 is just a wild fantasy and isn't going to happen. And yeah, absent radical change the level of failure around retrofitting (and desperately needed construction activity in general) will be legendary. Or more accurately the level of failure will be even more legendary, given that there's already been plenty written about the abject failure in delivery around housing & energy efficiency retrofitting already.
I’m just getting started with Kore so I’ll let you know how it’s going.
It's a disaster alright, much like everything else FFG touches, yet people keep voting for them. 🤷♂️
For myself, I have the finances right now to do a wall pump and solar.
Yet I'm afraid if I do I rule myself ineligible for some type of scheme like this in future, as I wouldn't meet the criteria for being able to upgrade by the required amount in one project.
So I'm being disincentivized from cutting back my co2 and making my house more comfortable for my kids.
Managing the upgrade on my own I've gotten a new super efficient combi gas boiler installed, attic insulation, external insulation and solar plus battery for about 26k including grsnts, granted my house is fairly small, only 60sqm which is fine for a single person, the new windows and doors were 11k and no grant offered. The one stop shop quote I got for the same thing plus a heat pump instead of the boiler was North of 70k. They wanted nearly a grand just to come to the house and do an inspection. I just said they were chanvers and sorted it myself. The one stop shop is a complete scam. The selected contractors must be connected to FFG.
sounds incredible cheap, what part of the country are u in ? fairl play . any chance you’d give a breakdown of the solar/battery and external insulation , solar and battery size . I can’t see u getting that in dublin . would love to be wrong