Sunday, October 05, 2008

Effective Energy Efficiency in Eire


Irish Government
Some Incorrect Emphasis in its
Energy Efficiency Drive?

There are currently some 1.5 million dwellings in Ireland.
Approximately 570,000 homes were built before 1970.
Some 1.1 million built before 1991. ESRI

These older houses, for the most part, do not have a high level of insulation or high efficiency heating systems.

20% of Irish homes do not have central heating. Many with central heating additionally use fires for heating.

Few New Houses will be built.

The number of new buildings being currently started is greatly reduced on previous years and the outlook for the foreseeable future is that the number of start-ups will further reduce. The emphasis therefore being placed by the government and its agencies on encouraging energy efficiency in new dwellings is becoming less and less practical.

Efforts Need to Focus on Older Homes.

The work effort and money should therefore be put into making the 66.6% of older homes more energy efficient. This could be cheaply and effectively be accomplished in a few simple moves.

1. Attic insulation in older homes needs serious upgrading. Encourage it by price fixing and grants.
2. CFL and LED lighting. Grasp the nettle and ban incandescent bulbs and make the new lighting VAT free and grant aided. The energy savings would be huge and lasting.
3. All open fires should have fireplace doors fitted, or be replaced by closed inserts or stoves. Fireplace doors are very cheap and easily fitted. A whole new small industry could be supported here giving employment. But the costs and quality need monitoring from the outset.

I will discuss Fireplace Doors in the next post.


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