Making the ‘Just Transition’ more sustainable for rural Ireland10th May 2023
Accelerating renewable energy for a secure and low carbon future10th May 2023
Energy security and affordability are at the forefront of people’s minds. There is much focus on how to heat homes, potential renewable solutions and the costs associated with a warm and comfortable environment.
Decarbonising heat is key to achieving net zero, but we must ensure that consumers have a choice of technologies to meet every budget, infrastructural challenge, and environmental goal.
Working with rural consumers located off the natural gas grid, we can provide options that meet their reality and their budget. This means ensuring that those living in rural dwellings have the same options to decarbonise as those in urban settings.
Calor Ireland has been to the forefront of enabling consumers to make more environmentally friendly choices by delivering access to certified renewable gas since 2018. Alongside our parent company SHV Energy, Calor is making strides in developing, investing in, and growing Futuria, our sustainable fuels portfolio.
Calor will continue to invest in developing sustainable energy solutions to enable consumers to make lower carbon choices. We are fully committed to bringing a full range of solutions to market and in doing so, we advocate for the needs of rural consumers and the importance of a multi-technology versus a ‘one size fits all’ approach to delivering a ‘Just Transition’.
The uptake of grants available for deep retrofitting and heat pump installation through the National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme, is lower than anticipated, in particular in rural areas. For the Irish Government to hit its target, 62,500 houses need to be retrofitted annually.1
A key challenge for many rural consumers, is the cost associated with a deep retrofit and heat pump installation. Even after the available support grants are applied, the costs are often beyond the financial reach for most households, especially for those in older homes which require more extensive building fabric and insulation upgrades for heat pumps to work efficiently.
We know from a recent report by Liquid Gas Ireland (LGI), the association representing companies operating in the LPG and BioLPG industry in Ireland, of which Calor Ireland is a member, that 65% of properties located off the natural gas grid, rely on oil as the energy source of choice for home heating while others rely on high carbon traditional fuels such as coal and turf.2
For these homeowners, switching to a renewable ready gas boiler that caters for lower carbon LPG, BioLPG or a blend of both, would have an immediate and lasting impact on reducing carbon emissions.
It also has a greater chance of being within the financial reach for a broader cohort of homeowners. The SEAI indicate that the average total capital cost to upgrade a home from an average BER rating of F to an average A3 is over €60,000. By comparison, a transition from oil to a renewable ready gas boiler, with moderate fabric upgrades to a home, is achievable for just over €11,000 and can deliver a BER uplift from D1 to B1.
We can support rural homeowners and businesses on the journey to a sustainable energy future.
Calor urges the Government to develop a regulatory environment which supports the use and availability of renewable liquid gases to meet the energy needs of rural Ireland. Integrating LPG, BioLPG and rDME (renewable dimethyl ether) into current and future Government policy will help to ensure a mixed technology approach and wider choice of viable options for homes and businesses off the natural gas grid.
Calor has the experience and the expertise to play a leading role in Ireland’s energy transition. Our customers and our society demand that change and we look forward to delivering it for them.
Chief Executive Officer