New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show electric heating systems, the majority being heat pumps, were installed in 95pc of newly built homes in the first three quarters of 2023.
Fossil fuel boilers were installed in less than 5pc of new dwellings last year, down from 79pc for 2010 to 2014.
According to the CSO, there were 6,716 new dwelling completions in the first quarter of 2023, a rise of 19.1pc on the same three months of 2022. There were 7,353 new dwelling completions in the second quarter of 2023, while the third quarter saw 8,452.
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage said the transition to low-carbon heating systems was a result of Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) regulations introduced in 2019.
These measures now require all new dwellings to be A2-rated with electrical heating systems. It comes ahead of new EU regulations which will ensure all new buildings produce zero emissions from 2030.
The new measures aim to phase out fossil-fuel boilers by 2040, introduce additional requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, calculate the life-cycle global warming potential of buildings and develop suitable solar energy installations.
“This significant shift towards renewable heating systems in new homes shows that Ireland’s ambitious building regulations under the Climate Action Plan are already working and they put us in a good place ahead of the proposed EU regulations that will be coming down the line,” said Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.
“Improving the energy efficiency of homes improves the health and comfort of those living in these homes and these regulations will enable us to build healthy, sustainable and durable buildings suitable for the Irish climate both today and into the future.”
Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said the EU proposal aligned with the Government’s ambition to retrofit 500,000 homes by 2030. “In 2023 we made over 42,000 homes warmer and more efficient, smashing our target of 37,000 for the year. This year we will go further with the help of Europe’s first low-cost loan for retrofitting and the big take-up of the generous grants,” he said.
“Making homes more energy efficient through retrofitting not only makes homes warmer and more comfortable, but can help households save money on bills and help to reach climate goals.”