Warmth & Wellbeing scheme: a 10 million expansion to make Dublin homes warmer and extension of eligibility to families with young children
From 2017 onwards, the Warmth & Wellbeing scheme will include three additional areas of Dublin (Dublin 8, 10 and 22). Dublin 12 and 24 are already running on a pilot basis. All the areas will also address families with young children. This has the added bonus of determining the role that having a warmer home can play in boosting social inclusion and even school performance.
It is anticipated that the scheme will provide for the upgrade of between 700-800 homes in 2017.
The pilot scheme, launched earlier this year, provides extensive energy efficiency upgrades free of charge to the homes of people over the age of 55 in Dublin 12 and 24 who are in energy poverty and living with respiratory conditions.
The scheme is funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment as part of the Government's Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty and is being delivered by the SEAI and the HSE in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Healthy Ireland initiative.
Ireland has some of the highest rates of respiratory illness in the world. In Ireland, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects over 110,000 people and is responsible for 10% of all hospital admissions and almost a quarter of all deaths. It is also estimated that more than 470,000 people in Ireland suffer from asthma.
Damp homes and air quality are universally regarded as key contributing factors to both conditions. By retrofitting homes, the Warmth & Wellbeing scheme aims to improve the internal air temperature and air quality in the homes of people suffering from these conditions. This should ease the symptoms of people with respiratory conditions and potentially reduce their need to access health services.
The scheme has funding of at least €20 M which will provide for a 3 year pilot running from 2016-2018. It is anticipated that this will allow more than 1,000 homes to have energy efficiency improvements carried out.