What do you need to know?
The Department for the Environment, Climate & Communications (DECC) has secured €1.159bn in Budget 2024 towards energy and infrastructure investment, aimed to support communities and businesses, whilst continuing its drive to low carbon, increased energy efficiency and improved digital connectivity.
Energy upgrades — retrofitting and solar PV
DECC Budget 2024 includes record funding of €380m for SEAI residential and community energy upgrades, including the Solar PV (photovoltaic) Scheme. This will be supplemented by additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the 2024 programme for domestic energy upgrades, particularly for those most affected by energy poverty. This follows the Irish Government’s decision in May 2023 to apply a 0% VAT rate to encourage domestic solar panel installation. DECC reports that following the Government’s move to cut VAT, solar panel installation increased by 231% in Q1 and Q2 2023 in comparison to 2022.
National Broadband Plan
DECC reports that €348m has been prioritised in Budget 2024 to continue the rapid rollout of the National Broadband Plan, to support high-speed broadband availability to half of all houses in rural Ireland by the end of 2024.
DECC reports €1bn will be applied to provide support for domestic electricity credits in the next year (part-funded by €167m raised through measures introduced to address certain profit types for some fossil fuel companies and electricity companies). It highlights €45m secured in Budget 2024 towards the Midlands counties most affected by the ending of peat extraction to assist toward the transition to low carbon. €110m is reported as being invested in programmes to continue the transition to a circular economy.
This highest-ever Budget allocation for DECC demonstrates the Irish Government’s firm commitment towards investment and measures to support lower carbon, increased energy efficiency and sustainability and improved digital connectivity. It also creates a significant opportunity for the energy and infrastructure sector to support the needs of businesses and communities in meeting those goals, particularly in the areas of renewables and digital connectivity.
For more information or advice on infrastructure, renewables and energy contracts, including developments in the areas referenced above, please contact Cassandra Byrne, Jarleth Heneghan, Fergus Devine, Máire O’Neill or your usual William Fry contact.