An environment ministry spokesperson told ENDS Daily that the measure would bring Ireland to the forefront of international environmental standards in thermal insulation in new homes.
Under Ireland's recently-unveiled climate change strategy, energy efficiency improvements are expected to cut 2m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (ENDS Daily 3 November). Ireland's target under the Kyoto protocol is to restrict overall GHG emission to 13% above 1990 levels.
Irish insulation requirements for new homes were last updated in 1997, cutting space heating energy consumption in new homes by 10%, according to the government. Mr Dempsey said that the 2002 standards would result in an additional 35% cut.
An environment ministry spokesperson told ENDS Daily that the measure should have a larger impact than similar action in other EU member states because of strong house building activity, fuelled by high economic growth and a transition to smaller households. The government predicts that, by 2010, over 40% of Ireland's total housing stock will have been built since 1997.
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