10 October 2023
The Government has missed an opportunity in its announcement of Budget 2024 to encourage a fairer approach to reducing carbon emissions and delivering cleaner air for rural Ireland, according to Liquid Gas Ireland (LGI), the representative body for LPG and BioLPG.
The Government has reiterated its commitment to implementing measures that tackle climate change. While the announcement of a new Infrastructure, Climate and Nature Fund to ensure capital projects progresses in a sustainable way is welcome, it is somewhat disappointing that the focus continues to be on existing supports such as retrofitting and associated heat pump technology. €380 million is being allocated for residential and community energy schemes, including €90 million for retrofitting of social homes, but this would not appear to embrace a mixed technology approach, including an encouragement to use LPG or BioLPG.
Commenting on behalf of LGI, Policy Director Philip Hannon said: “consumers in off grid rural Ireland need to be given greater choice and options as they endeavour to decarbonise their energy needs. Government has not used the opportunity of the budget to introduce more accessible incentives to help consumers switch from oil to lower carbon, cleaner fuels, such as LPG and BioLPG. In continuing to pursue a ‘one size fits all’ approach to home heating, consumers, especially in off grid rural areas are being limited in how they move towards decarbonisation.
Half a million homes in Ireland have no connection to the natural gas distribution network, and two-thirds of these currently rely on oil boilers for heating. Connecting these properties to the natural gas grid or installing new heat pump technology simply isn’t a financially or logistically viable option for most families. In contrast, switching to renewable ready gas boilers is easy and affordable, with immediate environmental benefits. By adopting a mixed technology approach to decarbonisation, we can accelerate Ireland’s transition to lower carbon and efficient heating sources while keeping people warm in their homes.”