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Friday, 27th January 2023

Louth County Council spends €6.7m in two years improving housing stock

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Project Manager, Edel O’Neill, Executive Engineer and members of the Housing Technical team briefed Chief Executive, Joan Martin on the progress of the work. Also in Photo are Gerard Savage, Assistant Engineer, Pat Casey, Housing Supervisor and Paddy Donnelly, Director of Services.

Louth County Council has spent €6.7 million over the last two years retrofitting local authority housing stock to ensure warmer, cleaner, more energy efficient homes for their tenants.

Launched in 2021, the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programme (EERP) is one of the pillars of the ‘Housing for All’ initiative which aims to improve the energy efficiency of County Council Housing stock to a minimum energy rating of B2. 

A ten-year programme will see older housing stock retrofitted with the latest energy efficiency technologies including improved insulation, air to heat pumps and ancillary heating and water management systems. The installation of new window and door units is also a feature of the retrofit programme in many of the houses.

Louth County Council Project Manager, Executive Engineer Edel O’Neill, confirmed the completion of 64 retrofit homes in 2021 at a cost of €1.7 million. There were a further 164 homes retrofitted in 2022 at a cost of €5 million. 

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“The improvements mean a warmer, cleaner, and more efficient home with a single utility bill” Ms O’Neill said. “The improvements have meant no more carrying and storing of solid fuel products. No messy cleaning of open fireplaces and an all-round improvement in the comfort for those living in the houses.” 

Plans for 2023 are at an advance stage with specialist contractors already engaged to commence work once final approval of funding for the 2023 scope of works is finalised by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. 

Speaking of the success of the scheme the Council’s Director of Services for Social Development, Paddy Donnelly outlined some of the lessons the team have learned from the first two years of the scheme.

“These include the management of energy credits that the scheme generates, which are a tangible benefit realised by the Council from the chosen Obligated Parties. Such is the success that the team plan in collaboration with energy and construction partners and with the cooperation of the tenants to retrofit an estimated 250 homes in 2023.”

Such a delivery will see the Council retrofit all its existing stock with a below B2 rating within the period of the ten-year programme.

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