On Monday the 7th of November 2016 Ireland has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change. The treaty has been ratified by 103 countries so far.
Ireland has certainly been taking steps to improve our environmental output. But more needs to be done to motivate the public at large. Ireland is recycling more than ever before. Houses now have electricity efficiency ratings. Hybrid and electric cars are becoming more popular on our roads, from taking to one taxi driver I was informed that his hybrid electric car saved him 2000 euro a year on fuel costs.
Wind farms have emerged on the landscape, but certainly not enough. Our peat powered power stations generate over a million tonnes of harmful emissions.
Residential housing is over reliant on oil central heating. This oil is imported costing billions each year.
Increasing the standards of building is an important step, I would argue the standard and most common design features found in traditional Irish housing stock are not designed to fully adapt to our climate and modern needs. I would encourage us to look towards the incredible Scandinavian low energy and passive house designs. This style of housing stock is much more affordable and cheaper to run.
Even with our famous lack of sunshine modern solar power panels can still harness the suns power and heat hot water systems reducing a persons average hot water bill by 240 euro a year. There is a government grant available to help with the costs of installing this system. This grant is available from the sustainable energy authority of Ireland. There are also many grants available to help better insulate your home and therefore reducing your energy consumption and reduce your bills.