Over half of lower Ballyfermot tenants at risk of fuel poverty

Over half of lower Ballyfermot tenants at risk of fuel poverty

By Maurice Garvey

UP TO 50 per cent of local authority tenants in Ballyfermot lower are at risk of fuel poverty, according to an energy mapping report delivered by Codema – Dublin City Council’s energy agency.

The electoral district of Decies, which includes lower Ballyfermot areas Muskerry Road, Landen Road and Lally Road, were among those cited in a top-ten list of Dublin City Council areas most at risk of fuel poverty.

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The report states many homes and apartments in the city are rented, and tenants cannot make big changes to reduce energy costs in homes with poor Building Energy Ratings (BER) ratings.
Likewise, there are no incentives for landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties.

Responding to the report, Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan said: “This report is shocking. It proves that 48 per cent of rented houses and flats are now at risk of fuel poverty. Decies Road, Lally Road and Landen Road are areas at risk of fuel poverty.”

He continued: “Having read the report, I’ve contacted Minister for Environment Alan Kelly, asking that funding be released to DCC. This funding will ensure a full insulation programme is carried out in older houses.

“The programme was very successful in insulating newer-style council houses in Cherry Orchard. Now we need the rest of the money to complete the job in the older houses. It is simply not good enough for the government to sit on this money while people face another freezing cold winter.”

Dublin 10 and 20 MABS spokesperson Michael Culloty “strongly advises” people to call into them, to “understand what supports are available.”

Mr Culloty said: “There may be supports that people are not aware of. Whilst welfare rights have been maintained, many social supports have disappeared.

“This puts pressure on people with low incomes to ‘cut their cloth’ with some cutting back on heat to buy food. We always try to maximise peoples’ incomes.”

Codema have recommended further analysis “to find the best-fit solution to reducing energy demand and costs” and called for households in the report to be included in “future energy-efficiency retrofit schemes.”

Dublin 10 and 20 MABS are open Monday to Friday until 5pm at the Civic Centre – contact them at 0761 072800 or email ballfermot@mabs.ie

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