Stormont plans for residential and commercial energy efficiency are delayed

Close-up of a woman measuring energy efficiency while holding a smart energy meter in the kitchen

The Department for Economy fell short of its goal to introduce new energy-saving programs for homes and businesses.

The programs were slated to go into effect by the end of 2022 as part of comprehensive plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A pilot program for homes would not be practical in 2022, the department claimed after consultation.

The statement continued, "Officials are currently advancing the development of a multi-year energy efficiency intervention program. ".

Calculating the amount of funding required for a successful home insulation plan is a component of that work.

A business-oriented program would be introduced in 2023, according to the department.

A report on the status of Stormont's energy strategy implementation contains the specifics.

With the intention of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a resilient energy system, the Stormont Executive approved the strategy at the end of 2021.

By 2030, it lays out a strategy to reduce energy-related emissions, primarily carbon dioxide emissions, by 56%.

Nine demonstrator projects for low carbon heat technologies have started, signaling some progress in some areas.

A statement of intent has been reached with the Crown Estate, which manages access to the seabed, and a draft action plan for developing offshore windfarms has been made public.

The strategy calls for new laws to be passed in order to implement some of its recommendations, such as easing planning regulations for heat pump installation.

Given the lack of a Northern Ireland Assembly, it is unclear when those legal changes can be implemented.

Stormont was praised for its ambition last year, but Stormont's execution would need to "take a major step up," according to the UK's climate watchdog.

If attention is not given right away to implementation and delivery, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) warned that Northern Ireland's net zero target would "lose credibility."

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