Carbon Neutral by 2013 - To Sustain Ireland or the Greens in Government?
The Minister's requirement is "All Dwellings to be Carbon Neutral by 2013".
In my opinion at the slow rate we're currently building and disseminating information this is not on.
Expecting the burden for upgrading homes less than five years old which were certified as compliant with the building regulations when completed to be carried by purchasers who are already under pressure financially and in negative equity is not on.
From the article above:
"There is also the issue of the increased costs. Experts believe the cost of upgrading a home to the 40pc more efficient standard currently in place can add up to 10pc to the cost of building. A carbon neutral house is likely to cost significantly more, but over the long-term residents will pay much lower fuel bills."
In the boom, such increased costs might have seen sustainable for a limited time, not now.
The percentage of new homes to be built before 2013 will be a fraction of what we've built in the noughties, so even if they are perfect examplars of the craft they will make very little difference in terms of energy saved.
Retrofitting is the only way to hugely improve matters, but who has the money today, even with the grants, to upgrade their homes?
While Jeff Colley and Eamon Ryan have developed a sound strategy for financing retrofitting over time through utilities bills, this is of little use to people who cannot pay their bills at their existing level.
The rest of the current incumbents in Government have a deep disconnect with what Irish society is going through at the moment - they show neither the imagination nor the will do address these issues and I see scant signs of intelligent life in the opposition or the independents.
We have two hundred miles of easily accessible continental shelf on which to mount wind and wave power projects which could power half of northern Europe and what are we doing about it - nothing.
It is clear that the government has a role to play by investing in Deep Geothermal heating systems technology to achieve sustainable ways of heating our homes right into the next millennium and what are we doing about it - nothing.
The government will duck this responsibility as they have so much else, since all the current incumbents are doing is dealing for gas and electricity from Britain and Russia.
The government, greens included, need to stop peddling power words and phrases and "bright ideas" while expecting people who are on their knees to go out tomorrow and improve houses that were legally built in compliance only yesterday, and for which many paid through the nose and are now in negative equity.
They want us to put MORE money into our houses in THIS recession, when many people are ALREADY IN NEGATIVE EQUITY? I. Don't. Think. So.
There is only one issue at the moment, and its not pursuing an expensive Green Agenda by 2013 that Europe won't fulfil until years later.
The issue isn't "getting the Greens re-elected".
"ITS THE ECONOMY, STUPID!"
I cannot say it plainer than that.
Get that right first, or we won't have to worry about the cost of heating our homes - we'll all be renting - and ranting.