Slate rooftops on a street of redbrick houses

Warmth and Wellbeing scheme to be extended to 700-800 more homes

The scheme is extending to eligible homes in Dublin 8, 10 and 22.

The Warmth & Wellbeing scheme - launched earlier this year - provides extensive energy efficiency upgrades free of charge to the homes of people over the age of 55 who are in energy poverty and living with respiratory conditions. It is currently available in Dublin 12 and 24.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, announced today that from next year the scheme will be expanded to include families with young children.

In addition, three more areas of Dublin - Dublin 8, 10 and 22 - will also be included under the pilot Scheme.

Why is the scheme being rolled out?

According to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Ireland has some of the highest rates of respiratory illness in the world.

Particular conditions that are prevalent include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - which affects over 110,000 people - and asthma, which affects 470,000 people. Damp homes and air quality are key contributing factors to both conditions.

The Warmth & Wellbeing scheme retrofits homes 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.

Why is it being rolled out to these specific areas?

The additional areas - Dublin 8, 10 and 22 - were selected on the basis of HSE advice, as they are in the same hospital catchment areas as the scheme currently operates.

The areas also contain a high level of social deprivation and can be covered by the existing HSE team.

The fact that the scheme has also been expanded to families with young children should give an insight into the role that having a warmer home can play in social inclusion and even school performance.

Further information on the scheme

The scheme is being delivered by a dedicated HSE team who work with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

SEAI will perform a needs-based assessment of what upgrades each home needs, then commission those upgrades.

The scheme is means-tested, and is available free of charge to households in receipt of the Fuel Allowance or One-Parent Family payment.

You can find out more on the website of the SEAI.