Four community groups in Tipperary with support and guidance from North Tipperary LEADER Partnership (NTLP) have been awarded almost €1 million by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for energy efficiency work to their homes and community buildings totalling €1.3 million.
The SEAI funding offer was announced at a meeting held in Nenagh on 12th June with representatives of 4 four local voluntary Energy Teams in the communities of Drombane/Upperchurch; Kilcommon/Rearcross; Lorrha/Rathcabbin and Birdhill. Noel Byrne, chairman of Drombane/Upperchurch Energy Team said “This is a great achievement for the people of Tipperary. We would like to see it spur more communities to set up local energy projects, to save money and create employment for their areas.”
A Project Co-ordinator, Marcella Maher Keogh, was recruited, who prepared four funding applications to SEAI. This work was financed by NTLP and the four local Energy Teams. Competitive tendering processes were carried out in each area to recruit suitable contractors. With NTLP, itself a non-profit company, acting as the secretariat, the four communities have together formed an UMBRELLA GROUP called Energy Communities Tipperary (ECT). ECT is a hub to co-operate and share best practice from the Drombane Project, between participating communities. The website http://www.energycommunities.wordpress.com makes information and resources from the projects available to the general public.
Gearóid Fitzgibbon, NTLP Community Worker, paid tribute to the local input: “The investment secured for each community is only possible through the time and commitment which volunteers give to oversee these projects in their own areas.”
The volunteers with the participating Energy Team are:
Drombane/Upperchurch Energy Team: Noel Byrne (Chairman) Jack Looby, Martin O’Donoghue, Con Harrington, Joan Carew, Eileen Armstrong, Eileen Dunne, Paddy Gleeson, PJ Harrington, Billy Clancy, and Michael Corcoran.
Kilcommon/Rearcross Energy Team: Liam Lynch (Chairman), Tom Harris, Eamon O’Neachtain, Paul Grace, Edel Grace, Noel McMahon, Noelle Ryan, Tom Butler, Billy Nolan, and Josephine Ryan.
Lorrha/Rathcabbin Energy Team: Alan Madden (Chairman), Jackie Hogan, Tim Kelly, Michael Bowler, Nancy White, Michael Moore, Declan Houlihan, Michael O’Meara, and Liam Mannion.
Birdhill Energy Team (part of Birdhill Tidy Towns group): Aileen Campion, Terry Griffith, Brett Fitzpatrick, David Healy and Tony Ryan.
The funding marks the latest success of a project which began at a community meeting in Drombane in 2010 when Drombane Village Group, chaired by Con Harrington, sought to stimulate economic activity in their local community. A new group called Drombane/Upperchurch Energy Team (DUET) was set up. DUET successfully leveraged investment in local energy efficiency work to the value of €450,000 with support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Community grant scheme.
A case study on this project is available called: Retrofitting the Local Economy – Case Study of a Community-led Energy Efficiency Scheme. A limited numbers of hard copies of case study are available from NTLP or from Drombane Energy Team.
Since 2013, NTLP community worker Gearóid Fitzgibbon has been working with a number of other communities to replicate the success of the Drombane/Upperchurch Energy Team. Advice from Tipperary Energy Agency staff, and support from student placements (Rachel Ryan – LIT Tipperary, and Allan Stewart – University of Uppsala)
The Energy Teams will be meeting later this autumn to see how they can build on this years success. Any local groups looking to get involved for 2015 should get in touch with
Gearoid Fitzgibbon – NTLP on 0857409023 or email GFitzgibbon@ntlp.ie
BOX OFF – 30% Grants still available
30% Grant Available: A few places are still available for Homeowners to avail of a 30% grant towards two upgrade items in their home. Upgrade items include, Attic Insulation, Cavity Wall insulation, External Insulation, Condensing Oil Boiler with Heating Controls, Heating Controls, Solar panels and Dry Stoves.
To qualify for the Grant, your home must have been built before 2006. All works are carried out by Energy Community Tipperary contractors, and must be completed before October 25th 2014. For more information or to avail of this grant please contact Project Co-ordinator Marcella Maher Keogh 086 1080356 or on email@example.com