MORE than 150 local authority homes across West Limerick are to be made more environmentally friendly, under a new Limerick County Council scheme.
The local authority has teamed up with renewable energy firm Airtricity to provide upgrades to homes in Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West.
The works, worth a total of €378,000 will see fabric insulation, heating, draught proofing, and building energy rating (BER) assessments on homes in council estates.
The funding stream comes from Airtricity, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and Airtricity.
The senior engineer responsible for housing supply and maintenance in Limerick City and County Gerry Naughton confirmed the application for funding had been approved this Wednesday morning.
This came after he initially expressed confidence over the scheme at Monday’s housing committee meeting in County Hall.
Sixty houses in Collins Park, Hillview Drive, and Radharc na Feille in Abbeyfeale will benefit from the upgrade works.
Meanwhile, a further 90 homes will be upgraded in Newcastle West.
These are homes in Assumpta Park, Castleview, Knockane, Lower Maiden Street, Sharwood Estate, Sheehan’s Terrace, Churchview. Work will take place also in homes at Castlemahon and Strand.
Local Fine Gael councillor Liam Galvin welcomed the funding, saying it will particularly benefit long-term Limerick County Council tenants.
“I am absolutely delighted they are carrying out the same work they carried out on other homes. What long term tenants of Limerick County Council had was not acceptable. Newer tenants moving into the newer council houses enjoyed homes up to a standard where they had new doors, new windows, new everything. But there is no obligation on the council to do the doors and windows of the older [longer-term] tenant, which presents a problem. Some of these houses are badly in need of repair,” Cllr Galvin said. He particularly welcomed the works which will take place in the Collins Park Estate, which he says “had the worst houses in the worst estate in Co Limerick.”
Newcastle area councillor, Cllr Jerome Scanlan said the news was “extremely welcome and very badly needed” in his area.
“There had been a policy by the previous government where retrofits had been done on homes which became unoccupied. Between €16,000 and €18,000 was being spent, but a tenant was not found. And yet you had someone living in a home next door for 28 years with no upgrade. What we are seeing here is monies put to better use,” he said.
City and County Council will invest €429,575 through 2013 in terms of grant aiding other houses to become more energy efficient.