Almost a million Irish homes built before 1997 are poorly insulated and energy inefficient, according to a leading renewable energy association.
The Renewable Energy Skills Accel Project (RES) claims that Irish households are wasting millions of Euro each year on heating poorly insulated homes and that the situation is unlikely to improve without Government intervention.
The network has indicated that the provision of grant-aid to the owners of houses built prior to the introduction of the 1997 Building Regulations, would help improve energy efficiency.
Johnny Flynn, Ennis Town Councillor and Chairperson of RES stated - "The introduction of environmentally sound construction methods and materials in the building of new homes, is being undermined by the fact that approximately two-thirds of existing Irish homes remain poorly insulated and are, therefore, neither energy-efficient nor environmentally-friendly.
"Apart from reducing fuel and electricity bills, a more energy-efficient home helps to protect the environment and provide greater protection for householders against future increases in fuel costs, as well as making the use of renewable energy technologies a more practical option" - he added.
Meanwhile, Renewable Energy Skills has announced details of the 3rd National Renewable Energy Heating Conference in Limerick Institute of Technology on Thursday 6th September 2007.
The key focus of this year's conference will be the financial argument for renewable energy heating systems and the benefits of improved energy efficiency - with national and international experts exploring how benefits can be gained and savings can be made.
According to Dick Whelan of Renewable Energy Skills - "The conference will explore the financial justifications for renewable energy heating systems for both domestic and large-scale commercial and community projects and will offer expert guidance and workshops on Best Practice in Renewable Energy Heating Systems. The target audience for this event include policy-makers, specifiers and installers."
Established in early 2004, the Renewable Energy Skills Accel Project provides training and support to trades and professionals involved in the design and installation of renewable energy heating systems. The training network recently completed its spring/summer programme of courses, which were held in 10 locations across the country.
Renewable Energy Skills is funded by members companies, the European Social Fund and the National Development Plan.
Accel is an initiative of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and is managed by Skillnets Services Ltd. It is an in-company training initiative aimed at accelerating skills of people at all levels within firms in Ireland.