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Phasing out of fossil-fuel heating

Phasing out of fossil-fuel heating

Date: 06 Jul 2022

Climate Action Plan (Action 57a): OPW Report on Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Heating from PS Buildings

The OPW published a report on the phasing out of fossil-fuel heating from public buildings. There are approximately 11,500 public sector buildings in Ireland1. Altogether, they consumed 2,191GWh of thermal energy (heating) in 2019, 99% of which was from fossil fuels.

The 2021 Climate Action Plan introduced several measures intended to decarbonise energy use in the built environment. Action 57a was lead by the Office of Public Works to “examine how and when fossil-fuel heating systems could be phased-out of public buildings, including disallowing the installation of any new fossil-fuel heating systems”. This report constitutes the OPW’s response to Government with respect to this action.

The report sets out 29 recommendations for implementing an approach based on 5 pillars:
  • Enabling measures to overcome barriers to renewable heat.
  • No new fossil-based heating systems in new buildings, subject to some limited exceptions.
  • A portfolio-based approach to replacing fossil fuels in existing buildings as part of broader retrofitting initiative that improves efficiency, reduces fossil-fuel consumption, makes buildings ‘renewables ready’ and integrates renewable heat.
  • Restrictions on leasing buildings with fossil-based heating systems.
  • Provision of funding for phased retrofit programmes.