Bridging the Gap - Between Energy Poverty and Energy Renovation

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A report commissioned by Friends of the Earth Ireland in partnership with the Irish Green Building Council

This report makes a series of policy recommendations to Government on how to better address energy poverty in Ireland through ambitious and targeted energy renovation programmes.

Increases in investment in residential retrofits in recent years have led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions associated with the housing sector. Almost a third of Irish households were at risk of energy poverty in 2022. Living in energy poverty is associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as arthritis and rheumatism.


To develop residential retrofitting as a tool to combat energy poverty, recommendations are grouped under four key areas -

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive approach to tackle energy poverty
  • Facilitate energy renovation for all
  • Make energy renovation more affordable for all
  • Invest in energy renovation of social housing


The report makes a series of recommendations for a national renovation strategy that includes and delivers for those at risk, or in energy poverty.

It calls for a review of the national retrofit programme on a regular basis to ensure it delivers real carbon savings and truly supports those households that will face the greatest challenges in the energy transition.

To make energy renovation more affordable for all, it would be important to review the criteria of the free energy upgrade scheme on a regular basis, as well as to pilot alternative funding mechanisms for groups at risk of energy poverty which are not currently covered under the scheme.

IGBC Final Report_Proof_04

Read the full report here

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Energy Poverty