As the winter chill continues, it’s been confirmed that almost 1,500 low-income households in Waterford received some sort of assistance under the Government’s Warmer Homes Scheme last year.

The initiative, run by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) since 2004, helps eligible applicants meet insulation improvement costs.

Fianna Fail Deputy Brendan Kenneally asked Energy Minister Eamon Ryan how many people in Waterford had applied during 2009, and the amount of funding provided.

According to SEI, a total of 1,491 households in the city and county had services provided to them under the scheme last year. “It is not possible to state what level of funding represents but this figure is approximately 10% of the total number of homes across the country that have benefitted from the Scheme in 2009,” the Green Party Minister confirmed.

Some €20 million was provided to the WHS during the 12 months in question – “a very substantial increase on previous years,” Mr Ryan pointed out. And with ‘fuel poverty’ on the increase, the scheme is supporting energy efficiency interventions in 15,000 low income homes this year,” he added.

Fuel poverty has been defined as the inability to heat ones home to an adequate (i.e. safe and comfortable) level. The Warmer Homes Scheme targets low-income households, whose costs aren’t met by fuel and other allowances.

Eligible homes are identified locally via networks drawn from the statutory and voluntary sector. The scheme’s focus is on privately-owned and rented homes, which are more diverse and difficult to access than local authority dwellings.

Beneficial works include attic and lagging jacket insulation, draught-proofing, energy-efficient lighting, and cavity wall insulation.

For more information call 1800-250204 or email