Irish homeowners have spent a total of €2.471 billion through the Home Renovation Incentive since its launch in 2013.

The scheme, which concluded at the end of last year, facilitated homeowners in carrying out nearly 150,000 home improvement projects over the last four years. 

The projects had an average spend of €16,774 per project. 

The Construction Industry Federation said the scheme had provided a huge boost to the local economy and employment in the construction sector.

"At a time of modest growth in the construction industry, the scheme encouraged investment by homeowners, which was good news for construction companies and contractors in the country," commented Shane Dempsey, Communications Director at the CIF. 

Broken down by value, the largest amount of work was carried out completing home extensions (34%), followed by general repair and renovations (25%) and then window replacement (11%) and kitchen replacement (10%). 

The scheme was introduced initially in late 2013, but the extension of it to rental properties in late 2014 helped increase the number of homeowners who used the scheme.

But a separate initiative, the Deep Retrofit Pilot scheme - which was devised to upgrade homes to the highest energy efficiency levels - has only seen 214 houses upgraded in 2017 and 2018. 

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the Deep Retrofit Pilot scheme on behalf of the Government. 

Under the pilot scheme, government funding is available for up to 50% of the total capital and project management costs for homes than achieve an A3 Building Energy Rating (BER) post retrofit. 

The Construction Industry Federation said that more needs to be done to promote the Deep Retrofit scheme. 

"The current ambitious target of 30,000 homes upgrades a year as set out by the Government in the National Development Plan (NDP), rises to 45,000 homes per year from 2021 onwards," Mr Dempsey said. 

"This initiative has the potential to underpin a sustainable and stable construction industry for the next 25 years," he added.