Photo of the attendees from ECTC’s end of year meeting. They are (left to right) as follows: Gearóid Fitzgibbon, Kathleen Doorley, Michael Connolly, Alan Madden, Martin O’Donoghue, Noel Byrne, Aileen Campion, Margret O’Brien, Jackie Hogan, Claire Ryan and John Smith.
Energy Communities Tipperary Co-operative (ECTC) had its end of year meeting in Nenagh on the 15th of December. This year ECTC secured over €1.5 million in investment and local jobs to the Tipperary economy. With funding from SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland), this year’s project saw a total of 135 homes and 3 community buildings become more energy efficient. 117 of these households were in receipt of Fuel Allowance. These homes received attic insulation, external insulation, high efficiency boilers, stoves, energy efficient light bulbs, and heating controls.
Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative developed from a village community planning process facilitated by North Tipperary Leader Partnership in Drombane Village Hall in 2010. According to ECTC chairperson Noel Byrne “This year eight communities were involved in the scheme. We got great support from Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) at application stage. North Tipperary Leader Partnership have provided start-up funding and financial management for this year’s work (through its Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme). We were also very fortunate again this year to have Marcella Maher Keogh as our Project Co-ordinator.”
The average cost per home of the works was: fuel allowance homes €11,065, can-pay homes €7,155, and on average €10,125 spent on community buildings. The Fuel Allowance homes received a 90% grant, the other homes a 29% grant. Community buildings were funded at 46%. As well as being more comfortable, householders will see a return on their investment through savings on energy over a period of 3-8 years, depending on the home. The energy savings made on each home were sold to Airtricity and used as funding for the project.
Marcella Maher Keogh, the Project Co-ordinator expressed ECTC’s gratitude for the ongoing support of SEAI commenting that “SEAI continue to back our model of community action on energy.” Ms. Keogh gave a special thank you to Clann Credo, the social finance organisation, who again provided the critical bridging finance for the project, she says “The Clann Credo project officer Susan Gallagher has worked with Claire Ryan (NTLP) and myself every step of the way.”
The application to SEAI was made by TEA who also managed the competitive tendering process carried out to recruit contractors. The directors of ECTC were very happy with these contractors. A very high pass rate was achieved on the SEAI inspections and the comments back from homeowners have been very positive. Other partners in the scheme were REIL and OPW which retrofitted a number of public buildings. ECTC also thanked suppliers Boru Stoves, Sola (Solaregy), Climote and Grant Engineering, for sponsorship received.
The eight communities involved were: Drombane/Upperchurch Energy Team, Kilcommon/Rearcross Energy Team (KRET), Lorrha/Rathcabbin Energy Team (LRET), Birdhill Tidy Towns, Carrig/Riverstown Development Association (CRDA), Borrisokane Community Forum, Loughmore Energy Team and Cloughjordan Community Development Committee. Gearóid Fitzgibbon of North Tipperary Leader Partnership (NTLP) paid tribute to the volunteers – those who participated on the local Energy Teams, as well as the volunteer directors of ECTC. “ECTC’s is looking to continue its work into 2016 with local partners – creating greater energy efficiency in local homes, saving homeowners’ money on energy and keeping employment in the community.”
Any householders interested in the scheme for 2016 should complete the Householder Interest Form on the website http://www.energycommunities.wordpress.com. For any other information, get in touch with Gearóid Fitzgibbon (NTLP) on 085-7409023, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.