Minister for Energy Alex White, TD, today (Wednesday) awarded grants worth a total of €18.6 million to 29 community energy efficiency initiatives. The projects will improve the energy efficiency of 2,435 homes and 400 public, private and community buildings. They are expected to deliver lifetime energy savings of €140 million in the localities concerned."
The grants are being awarded under the Government's Better Energy Communities scheme, which has now awarded over €62 million to community energy efficiency initiatives.
Minister White said: "These projects will see community co-operatives all over the country coming together with local authorities, businesses and sports clubs to improve homes and local community facilities. Energy efficiency improvements like these are demonstrating that energy efficiency technologies work, and that they deliver real benefits, which can save on bills while helping the environment.
"This will be crucial to persuading more people to undertake energy efficiency improvements in their homes or businesses. It will also support jobs in the local areas where these projects are delivered. I am absolutely determined that community involvement will be at the heart of the new energy white paper, which will determine the path forward for the Irish energy sector to 2030."
The projects include:
· Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative Ltd: Eight Tipperary communities coming together in a co-operative to carry out deep retrofits on 200 homes. The aim of the project is to increase user comfort, reduce energy usage, and generate local employment.
· Castleblaney Credit Union in conjunction with Kingspan: The project covers 24 homes in Castleblaney. The Credit Union will provide finance to 24 homeowners to improve the energy efficiency performance of their homes.
· Camphill Community: A charitable trust working with people with intellectual disabilities and other special needs is leading this project, which involves 99 buildings across all sectors (local authority, public sector, homes, and independent living and community facilities). It involves a mix of fabric upgrades, use of low-energy technologies and renewables.
Minister White made the announcement at the launch in Dublin of a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) report on Energy Efficiency Investment Pathways for Ireland, which explores the potential for unlocking energy efficiency gains.
Minister White said: "The Government is firmly committed to the ambitious goal of improving the energy efficiency of Ireland's economy by at least 20% by 2020. The report published today shows that this goal is achievable, and confirms that reaching our energy efficiency targets can lead to a sustained long-term increase in incomes, employment and economic activity. It notes the significant progress we have already made on energy efficiency in Ireland, and it confirms that the policy foundation for energy efficiency is strong. Over the coming months and years this foundation needs to be strengthened and enhanced."
Notes to Editors
The full list of all projects to receive funding can be found at http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Better_Energy_Communities/Better-Energy-Communities-Projects-2015.pdf.