DOWN Cllr Cadogan Enright is urging homeowners who wish to avail of grants to install renewable energy in their homes to send in their application forms as the deadline for the grants is 31st March.
He said “From the time people this newspaper is published, local people will have less than a week to send in their application forms for the Reconnect grant scheme which offers up to 50% of the cost of installing renewable energy in your home”.
Cllr Enright has previously highlighted the effect the ending of the grants will have in the local economy as they are being cut off at the end of the month. A large number of local businesses have grown to support the growth in interest in renewables and Cllr Enright highlighted that no scheme is proposed to replace it leaving over 100 local jobs exposed.
“The grants are not only helping homeowners to reduce their energy bills, they are boosting the local economy and helping the environment. They have already proven to be a great success, with the target number of 4000 installations in NI being likely. I have already submitted my application and have urged my colleagues in the Chamber to do the same.”
At the last meeting of the Council, Tuesday 18th, Cllr Enright succeeded in having a unanimous motion passed in relation to renewable energy, which urged ‘joined-up thinking’ by the Executive departments in relation to clean heating and power.
The motion resolved to write to First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, as well as to Minister Dodds and the Minister for Energy in Dublin, urging them all to develop a ‘joined-up’ energy policy to ensure NI is meeting its share of international commitments and ask what steps the Executive are taking to tackle climate change.
Cllr Cadogan Enright explained “We in Down District Council are taking the lead in calling for this approach to renewable energy, which has a long term impact on energy security, our carbon footprint and the competitiveness of the all-island economy and will severely affect the capacity of the building and energy industries in NI to manage country’s move to zero-carbon by 2016
“Everyone is aware of the rising cost of oil and the effect this is having on heating, transport and electricity costs and we have the potential in County Down to produce, manufacture and install our own energy sources. That is why I am urging all homeowners who have completed their application forms for the Reconnect grant to send them in immediately”, he concluded.