As a small island off the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland will need to adapt to the risks inherent in the rising sea levels and global temperatures brought on through climate change.
There is no one size fits all solution to this global problem; however, there is a need for a united, concentrated effort to limit these impacts. The Irish government has introduced its Climate Bill which sets out the agenda for how we can help reduce carbon emissions and alter the path we’re currently on.
Part of that Bill includes a national retrofit programme which aims to see 500,000 homes, or a third of Ireland’s housing stock, retrofitted to a B2 building energy rating by 2030. But what does that mean and how will help homes and businesses around Ireland reduce their carbon footprint?
Stuart Hobbs is the Director of SSE Airtricity Energy Services, a business dedicated to building energy upgrades utilising energy efficiency technologies which include external wall insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, heat pumps, energy efficient boilers, solar PV and battery systems, and electric vehicle (EV) charging points. With over 23 years of experience in the energy industry, Stuart understands the importance of the national retrofit programme and how it can help customers who want to benefit from greener choices.
“Retrofitting is very much an investment in the home, both for now and for the future,” says Hobbs. “Our dedicated teams evaluate customers’ needs to guide them through the entire process from start to finish – calculating the exact need and upgrading the home through a range of energy saving measures like improved insulation, windows and doors, heating systems and renewable energy tech.”
Stuart points out that his team have big ambitions for what they can achieve through retrofitting and the benefit it will have on Ireland’s carbon emissions. “We’ve set ourselves the goal of helping to retrofit thirty thousand Irish homes over the next ten years. This target will drastically reduce the emissions of thousands of homes around Ireland, saving millions on energy costs for consumers and making their homes warmer, healthier, and safer.”
SSE Airtricity Energy Services recently completed a series of retrofit upgrades in partnership with Limerick County Council. Through this project, energy poor homes were retrofitted with high efficiency heating systems, external wall and roof insulation, window and door replacements, and high retention hot water cylinders. Also upgraded alongside the homes were St. Mary’s Community Center in Southill and the Limerick City Hall which received new lighting, EV charge points and solar PV panels.
The partnership provides a positive long-term investment in Limerick’s social and private housing stock whilst also significantly reducing carbon emissions by upgrading older homes which lack adequate insulation and heat retention. The works eliminate energy waste helping to reduce costs and make the homes more comfortable to live in.
Stuart says everything SSE does is about how we transition to net zero, and that’s why the company has evolved and expanded its service offering, to provide a trusted voice and engage with consumers to help them be more energy efficient.
“The entire energy industry needs to work with the public to create an understanding of what a retrofit entails, but we also need to make it easier. That’s why our team manage all aspects of a retrofit project on behalf of our customers, we manage the grant applications, the contractors verifying quality of all inputs and helping make informed decisions about what is required, so they can enjoy the process of upgrading their home with a trusted partner to help them through it.”
SSE Airtricity has also partnered with An Post who provide market-leading low-cost lending options, giving customers a full end-to-end solution for improving their homes.
Stuart concludes by saying; “This is a hugely important time for our sector and the country as a whole, the work we collectively do upgrading homes across the county will leave a lasting positive impact on the environment, it will help our economy and directly lead to the creation of more jobs. By working together, we can transform homes across the country, making them warmer, healthier, and safer for generations to come.”
SSE Airtricity was proud to be a part of COP26 in Glasgow this year, another important step on our collective journey to net zero.
To learn more about upgrading your home book a free consultation with our Generation Green Home Upgrade team today.