“May you live in interesting times”, so the old proverb says, and we are indeed living in interesting times. There are a range of factors, both domestic and international, conflating to impact on the retrofit sector in ways which we have never seen before, writes Dr Ciaran Byrne, Director of National Retrofit, SEAI.
These factors include post-Covid recovery; ongoing and intensifying global supply chain issues; a 40-year high in inflation impacting particularly on energy costs, with diesel up over 45% and petrol 26% compared to this time last year; incoming interest rate hikes; and then the issue of labour shortages which seems to be economywide. When all these factors are combined, some seasoned commentators are starting to mention the dreaded “recession” word.
Amid such uncertainty and nascent talk of recession, it would be easy to see how businesses might stand back from significant decisions, such as investing to grow the business or entering a new market. However, on 8 February last the Government provided certainty, particularly for the domestic retrofit sector, with the launch of the National Residential Retrofit Plan.
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