Addressing energy poverty and access to retrofitting at an Oireachtas Committee

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Friends of the Earth were invited to appear at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands to address the issue of energy poverty with a specific focus on retrofit schemes and the suitability of fuel allowance to meet the needs of Irish households.


Clare O’Connor, Energy Policy Officer, and Jerry Mac Evilly, Head of Policy Change, attended the committee on 28th February. 


They addressed six key areas of focus: 

  • improving accessibility to home retrofitting; 
  • preventing fossil fuel heating lock-in; 
  • the need for a holistic, whole-of-government approach to tackle energy poverty; 
  • addressing affordability through redesign of the fuel allowance and allowing low-income households to access the benefits of renewables; 
  • increasing the social housing retrofit programme; 
  • resourcing energy advice and support at a community level


This invitation was a follow-up on a report, “Still Left Out in the Cold” published by Friends of the Earth, containing an in-depth analysis of government policies on energy poverty and climate action to date. The report includes 49 specific recommendations on how the government can prioritise win-win solutions for both energy poverty and climate action.



Watch back video stream of session on X here.

Statement of Friends of the Earth to the Committee on Social Protection, Rural Development and the Islands

See Clare O’Connor’s full statement to the committee here.