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“Broadband Roll-Out, Energy Programmes, National Seabed Survey and other important projects to continue in 2007”
Dublin , 18 October 2007

Minister Eamon Ryan today confirmed that under Phase 1 of the 2008 estimates process, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources will receive the necessary increases in funding to allow it to continue its existing programmes in 2008. Policy initiatives involving increases for Departments generally, above and beyond the Pre-Budget Estimates "existing level of service" figures, will be set out in Budget 2008.
Commenting on the publication of the 2008 Pre-Budget Outlook and Pre-Budget Estimate by the Department of Finance Minister Ryan said, "There is a widespread acknowledgement that the public finances will be facing into a period of reduced growth from next year, compared to that experienced over the past number of years. In the context of this! I am delighted to say that I have secured an increase of nearly €3.5 million in current expenditure and more than €6.5 million in capital expenditure for the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources in 2008 under Phase 1 of the 2008 Estimates Process.

In the Communications area this will mean the roll out of the new National Broadband Scheme, the continuation of the Metropolitan Area Network Programme and continued investment in innovation through the National Digital Research Centre and the Digital Hub Development Agency.

Vital Energy programmes will continue such as the Greener Homes scheme, encouraging householders to switch to renewable energy heating and the House of Tomorrow Programme, promoting superior energy performing housing.

The funding will also enable the Department to continue to map the seabed around our coast. By the end of 2008, I expect a total of 8,000 sq km of seabed will have been mapped. This will be an invalua! ble aid in our search for Natural Resources off our coast and will als o assist in the environmental monitoring of our coastal regions.

In total, the Department will be receiving budgetary increases of nearly €10 million for 2008. This sustained investment in our key infrastructure and public services in Communications, Energy & Natural Resources will allow the Department to continue to develop a positive and supportive framework for the sectors under its remit while still providing value for money for the Irish taxpayer."


Latest Press Release from Department of Marine and Natural Resources

€27 million euro in grant aid to be made available for renewable home Heating - Dublin 26th March 2006 The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey T.D., today launched a grant aid scheme of up to €27m for domestic renewable Heat technologies. The scheme was agreed in last year's Budget and is part of a multi-annual finance package of €65m for renewable energy that will also include grants for a range of renewable heat, electricity and transport initiatives.

The "Greener Homes" scheme will allow individual householders, for the first time ever, to obtain grants for the installation of renewable technologies including wood pellet stoves and boilers, solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. Grant aid of €1,100 to €6,500 will be provided depending on the individual technology used.

The scheme will be rolled-out over a five-year period starting today, and will potentially support the conversion to renewable energy in up to 10,100 homes. By its final year, it is expected to save energy equivalent to 54,000 barrels of oil per annum and 23,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum. This isequivalent to meeting 100% of the heating needs of 7,100 homes from renewable energy, or removing 6,700 cars off the road.

"Since coming into office, I have been impressed by the number of householders who want to play their part in contributing to the environment, by installing renewable energy systems in the home. Despite the fact that renewable energy systems have low running costs, high equipment and installation costs have excluded many people from making the switch. This scheme recognises the contribution that individual householders want to make in reducing energy demand, and will provide concrete support for them to make the switch to low cost, low emission heating systems,” said Minister Dempsey. “This scheme is also particularly relevant in the context of rising fossil fuel costs,” he added.

The package will also provide funding for a wood chip / pellet boiler programme for small to medium scale enterprises, Combined Heat and Power (a process in which electricity is generated on-site and the heat from that process captured and also used), and a biofuels capital grants programme to underpin a €205m excise relief programme.

There has been intense interest in the domestic grants scheme since it was first announced that a scheme was to be developed. "Almost 1,200 enquiries have already been received by members of the public and renewable energy suppliers, and I am delighted that the scheme is now open for business," Minister Dempsey said.

Details of the scheme and application forms are available on the Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) website from tomorrow Monday, 27th March (www.sei.ie), and a dedicated low-call phone line will also be open from Monday (ph: 1850 SEI SEI / 1850 734 734), to deal with queries and applications in relation to the scheme. Those that have previously enquired about the launch of the scheme will be sent details directly by post or email.

Note for Editors
Greener Homes Scheme -Grant aid available for Renewable Heat Technologies.

Technology Grant amount

Wood Chip or Pellet Boilers     €4200
Wood Chip or Pellet Stoves     €1100
Wood Chip or Pellet Stoves with Back boiler    €1800

Heat Pump - Horizontal Ground Collector €4300
Heat Pump – Vertical Collector €6500
Heat Pump – Water (well) to water €4300
Heat Pump – Air source €4000

Solar (per m2 to a max of 12m2) €300




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