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Construction Industry could benefit from investment in energy efficiency

1 April, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún speaking from Brussels has said that the Executive must work closely with the EU institutions to maximise the potential benefit to the local economy.  

She was speaking in support of the European Commission’s proposal to make energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in housing eligible for funding from Europe through the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).   

Ms de Brún said:  

“Ireland, north and south, is suffering immensely from the economic crisis. Those relying on the construction industry have been particularly affected.  

“I hope this move by the EU will allow the use of these funds to part-finance a programme of energy efficiency renovations which can provide a boon to our construction industry saving jobs while at the same time playing a part in meeting our climate change obligations and tackling fuel poverty.    

“It is right that the Commission has focused on low-income housing as the target for this change in criteria. Those who live in low-income are more likely to suffer disproportionately as our economy shrinks while at the same time are less likely to have the resources to renovate their housing without financial aid. If used properly this scheme could help alleviate the worst effects of fuel poverty on many across the north of Ireland.    

“I hope this proposal can come into force as soon as possible and that the local, regional and national authorities can grasp the full potential of this change and that they will not shrink from providing the necessary resources from their side to implement it.” ENDS

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