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Encouraging Home Energy Upgrades: Tax Incentives Make a Difference


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In a recent survey, 60% of consumers expressed their willingness to invest in home energy upgrades if provided with tax incentives. Cost emerged as the primary obstacle preventing homeowners from making their residences more energy-efficient. This article delves into a report published by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) that emphasizes the need for government intervention to make retrofitting more accessible. The report suggests several key measures, including tax incentives, low-cost financing options, and increased grants and subsidies for ancillary expenses like Building Energy Rating (BER) certification.

The State of Home Retrofits

The report, titled “Decarbonising Homes in Ireland,” acknowledges a growing momentum in home retrofits. However, it highlights that the government’s ambitious targets for home retrofitting and heat pump installation necessitate a significant acceleration in progress. Specifically, the government aims to retrofit 500,000 homes to a B2 BER rating and install 400,000 heat pumps by 2030.

Consumer Awareness and Motivations

A survey conducted by Amárach Research on behalf of BPFI found that 40% of consumers are unaware of their homes’ BER ratings. The survey also revealed that a substantial 86% of respondents considered reducing energy bills as one of their top motivations for enhancing energy efficiency. Nevertheless, the prohibitive cost remains the principal deterrent.

The Financial Barrier

The estimated cost of a full retrofit varies widely, ranging from €25,000 to €75,000, contingent on the property’s age. A staggering 82% of consumers pointed out that the increasing cost of living has made it more challenging to invest in energy efficiency upgrades.

Tax Incentives and Financial Support

Survey participants expressed strong support for financial incentives. Notably, 63% believed that tax incentives would encourage them to undertake energy-efficient home renovations. Similarly, 58% stated that a low-cost finance scheme backed by the government would have a similar effect.

The Call for Government Action

Louise O’Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking at BPFI, noted the government’s considerable efforts to promote home retrofitting but emphasized the need for further action to meet Ireland’s decarbonization targets. The BPFI has called upon the government to expedite the launch of its proposed home retrofit loan guarantee. Additionally, it advocates for tax incentives that enable individuals to use their savings for retrofit projects. A stamp duty rebate scheme for those buying low BER-rated homes with a stipulated upgrade timeline is also proposed.

A Collaborative Approach

In pursuit of practical and innovative solutions, the BPFI calls for the establishment of a government-led, cross-industry steering group. This group would aim to identify strategies to facilitate home retrofits and contribute to the realization of Ireland’s decarbonization goals.

In conclusion, the BPFI’s report underscores the significance of tax incentives and financial support in encouraging homeowners to invest in energy-efficient upgrades. It urges the government to take decisive steps to make retrofitting more affordable, ultimately advancing Ireland’s journey towards a greener and more sustainable future.

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Aiden is a skilled writer who has found his calling as a journalist 2 years ago. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, he has quickly made a name for himself in the industry. Aiden's articles are well-written and informative, and he takes great pride in his work. He has a knack for finding the most interesting angles on any story, and his writing is always engaging and thought-provoking. In his free time, Aiden enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with his family.

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