Heating and operation of buildings represent a significant proportion of Ireland's total energy consumption. The residential sector alone accounts for approximately for 27% of all energy usage in Ireland. It emits some 10.5 million tonnes of CO₂ annually. Because the potential for energy savings is so high the buildings sector is a priority area for the Government in meeting our energy and climate targets for 2020 and beyond. By renovating and improving the thermal efficiency of Ireland's building stock we can make our homes and businesses more comfortable and cheaper to run. It also reduces emissions and reliance on imported fossil fuels.
Long Term Renovation Strategy 2017 - 2020
Article 4 of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive requires Member States to set out long-term strategies for mobilising investment in the renovation of buildings. Ireland's first strategy, Better Buildings: A National Renovation Strategy, was published in 2014.
For Irelands Long Term Renovation Strategy an extensive review and public consultation has taken place. This process was carried out by the Irish Green Building Council, in consultation with DCCAE, through the EU Build Upon initiative. The final set of recommendations from this consultation process is set out in Unlocking Ireland's Potential: Towards Large-Scale Deep Renovation. These recommendations revolve around measures to improve accessibility to and uptake of renovation measures.
The Long Term Renovation Strategy 2017-2020 is a critical part of a on ongoing process of strategic planning and implementation led by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE). This process began with the Energy Policy White Paper, Ireland's Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future. The White Paper was followed by Ireland's 4th National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) and the 1st National Mitigation Plan, both published in 2017 and both including measures set out in this LTRS. The next step will be taken in 2018 with the drafting of Ireland's National Energy & Climate Plan, which will be subject to further consultation.
This LTRS consists of chapters on each of the three sectors of the Built Environment: residential, commercial and public. Where necessary, the statistical data provided in the first LTRS is updated. However, the main focus of this document is on demonstrating the significance of the measures underway in each sector and how they fit into a forward looking, strategic, framework that is focused on 2 things:
- maximising progress to Ireland's 2020 target of an improvement in energy efficiency of 20%
- preparing for the step change in effort, and depth of measures, required post 2020, while maximising the impacts of cost effectiveness of available government funding and regulatory action.