Targeted support programs are needed to reduce solid fuel use or encourage users to switch, according to an EPA report.
While Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan is set to present revised turf regulations in the coming weeks, the EPA report Residential Solid Fuel Use in Ireland and the Transition Away from Solid Fuels says there will be financial incentives to retrofit homes aligned with fuel poverty strategies , may be needed to provide sufficient incentive to move away from solid fuels or, to a lesser extent, to reduce consumption.
It also states that some policy measures, such as B. Restrictions on the use of solid fuels, are likely to have the greatest desired effect; Experiences in other countries show that a range of policy measures will be required.
“The success of any policy that discourages the use of unsustainable solid fuels must be accompanied by policies that encourage the use of sustainable alternatives.”
Solid fuel users surveyed for the report were very aware of the climate crisis and a common message was that they saw the need to reduce the amount of solid fuel used and many would welcome less reliance on it.
But solid fuel users say there is a lack of “reliable information” from suppliers, regulators and the government on newer technologies and their costs.
Ireland has the second highest consumption of solid fuels in Europe, at 17.6 per cent for domestic heating, behind Poland (40.2 per cent) and combined with an emotional attachment to burning solid fuels, a significant proportion of households rely exclusively on solid Fuels only space heating source (near 6pc).
Other research has found that households near bogs have the greatest resistance to change. Households living on a farm are more likely to use peat and wood for central heating than those not living on a farm, the report said.
The report comes after a major political controversy erupted over proposals by Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan to ban the sale of peat.
Due to air quality problems in some towns and villages, where coal, peat and wood are the main sources of particulate matter (PM), there is a commitment in the government’s current program to extend the smoke coal ban nationwide.
Emissions with the EPA estimate that exposure to such PMs caused 1,300 premature deaths in Ireland in 2018 and references research that says indoor emissions from open fires can pose a significant health risk to older people.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/rural-life/targeted-schemes-needed-to-reduce-turf-use-41608188.html “Targeted measures to reduce lawn use required”