• Highest-ever Budget allocation for the Department demonstrates the Government’s commitment to achieving a climate neutral, sustainable and digitally-connected Ireland
  • Three €150 energy credits giving over two million households €450 towards energy bills this winter
  • Record funding for retrofitting and solar PV
  • €348 million for the National Broadband Plan; high-speed broadband will be available to half of all houses in rural Ireland by the end of 2024

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has secured €1.159 billion in Budget 2024 to support families and communities with energy costs while continuing the drive towards a low-carbon, digitally-connected future.

 

 

Three Electricity Credits of €150 will be applied to domestic electricity bills; one before Christmas and one each in the January/February and March/April billing cycles.

The total value of this measure is just over €1 billion, and will be part-funded by the €167 million raised thus far from the measures introduced to address the windfall profits of some fossil fuel companies and electricity generators.

 

 

Budget 2024 also includes record funding of €380 million for SEAI residential and community energy upgrades, including the Solar PV (photovoltaic) Scheme — this is a €24 million increase on last year and means that more funding than ever will be available to make homes warmer, healthier, more comfortable and less expensive to heat.

This will be supplemented by additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support next year’s programme of energy upgrades for households at risk of energy poverty.

The Government’s decision in May of this year to apply a 0% VAT rate boosted the installation of domestic solar panels across the country, with over 21,000 households expected to receive support in 2023.

 

 

Bolstering Ireland’s digital connectivity into the future, €348 million has been prioritised in Budget 2024 to continue the rapid rollout of the National Broadband Plan, delivering high-speed broadband services to an additional 100,000 homes and businesses in Ireland next year.

This represents a €136 million/64% increase on last year.

 

Just Transition

 

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This Government is committed to ensuring that no sector of society or community is left behind in the movement to a low-carbon future. For this reason, €45 million has been secured to ensure a Just Transition in the Midlands counties most affected by the ending of peat extraction.

 

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Commenting on Budget 2024, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, said:

The Government is conscious that people are still facing higher energy bills than before the invasion of Ukraine, even with recent reductions by the power companies.

 

 

 

That’s why I am glad that our Department can provide for three Electricity Credits again this year, which, along with a suite of targeted social welfare measures, can help ensure that households, and particularly those who need help most, can be supported to help meet their bills over the coming winter.

The message this year is the same as last; nobody should go without heat or light this winter. There are supports available and we urge people to stay warm and well and continue to engage with their energy companies.

 

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I also welcome the ongoing and increased funding for the rollout of the most ambitious home retrofitting plan in Europe.

On current performance it is expected that we will exceed this year’s target to support 37,000 home energy upgrades.

With significant additional funding we can expect to continue the trajectory upwards into next year with a continued focus on households at risk of energy poverty.

In the first half of 2023, the installation of solar panels was up a massive 231% on last year following the Government’s move to cut VAT. Budget 2024 will continue to drive the solar rooftop revolution.

Government delivers record €1.159 billion investment in Budget 2024 to support families, communities, and a net-zero future 1
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Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, said:

I welcome the significant increase in funding in Budget 2024 for the National Broadband Plan, which will bring the digital transition to every corner of Ireland.

We are seeing a much higher take up than we had originally forecast, and almost 200,000 households and businesses now have access to full fibre broadband.

With the additional funding in this Budget, full fibre broadband will be available to over half of rural homes by the end of next year.

In addition, almost €110 million is being invested in programmes to continue the transition to a circular economy, and I look forward to the introduction of a new Deposit Return Scheme for aluminium cans and plastic bottles next February.

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