Low carbon Economy – the great project of this age

FROM the Department of Energy Website
Speech by Minister Alex White at
Dublin Castle, Wednesday 3rd June 2015

Energy Minister, Alex White T.D., today (Wednesday) said that the transition to a low-carbon society between now and 2050 was “one of the greatest projects of our age.” Minister White was speaking in Dublin to a group of almost 300 ‘energy stakeholders’ in the final public consultation session before the publication of an energy White Paper in the autumn. The audience included citizens’ groups, academics, elected representatives, regulators and energy companies.

“All of us want to safeguard our environment for future generations. That means that we must expedite the transition to a low-carbon future for our own sake and for the sake of our children and grandchildren. This vision comes with a pledge to all our citizens, our communities, industry, and those who work to provide energy to our homes and workplaces, that policy will ensure certainty, stability and affordability as we make the transition to a low carbon future.”

However, Minister White warned about the challenges of realising this vision. “We will be constrained by the availability of capital and other resources. Some of our decisions will involve costs as well as benefits. We will be presented with many difficult choices as we juggle the sometimes conflicting priorities of affordability, sustainability and energy security,” he said.

Minister White said he wanted informed and engaged citizens to take an active role in the transition to a low-carbon society and economy. He pledged that community concerns about the development of new energy infrastructure would be dealt with sensitively in future. The forthcoming White Paper would “set out a new direction in which we will listen to citizens, respect their concerns and give them an ongoing opportunity to input into policy development and implementation. The onus will be on the State and industry to demonstrate the need for new projects and to clearly explain complex technical issues.” He said communities that host energy infrastructure should receive “commensurate benefits.”

Minister White said policy would aggressively target energy efficiency, which was one of the few elements of energy policy that is completely in our control. The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan has already led to €700 million in savings from reduced fossil fuel imports, he said. He also specifically highlighted the contribution of schools and children to energy savings through initiatives like the Green Schools Programme.

Turning to the renewables sector, Minister White said onshore wind had been at the centre of Ireland’s renewable energy generation so far. “It has served us well, and it will continue to do so. But the next period of energy transition will also see the development of new commercial and late-stage solutions, which are likely to change the mix of renewables as technologies like solar PV, off-shore wind, and carbon capture and storage mature, and become more cost-effective.”

The Minister noted the important contribution of existing policy initiatives such as the Bioenergy Action Plan and the Off-Shore Renewable Energy Development Plan, both published in 2014. He confirmed that the White Paper will outline a number of initiatives that will contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s renewables electricity targets.

Minister White said employment opportunities would continue to arise from the development of new technologies to mitigate carbon emissions. He said his Department was working closely with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation “to launch the European Energy Innovation Hub to develop technologies and capture their enterprise and employment potential.”

The Minister noted the importance of improved inter-connectivity during the transition process, including through projects like the North-South transmission line project. He said this interconnectivity would be facilitated by the recently-initiated EU Energy Union initiative. Along with ongoing cooperation with fellow member states in projects like the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, this would ensure that Ireland’s energy transition was steady and stable.

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Posted in Energy Policy

Update

No news yet on our funding application to SEAI’s Better Energy Communities Scheme. Apparently it will be early June before we hear whether or not our application has been successful. Lots of nervous waiting.

Posted in 2015 Scheme

Update on SEAI Application

We have submitted an application for funding to SEAI in time for the March 20th deadline on behalf of Energy Communities Tipperary and 8 local communities. We should learn if we are going to be funded by late April or early May.

Interest was received from over 260 householders across 8 communities in Tipperary for this year’s project. If our application to SEAI is successful we will contact all householders to update you on the next steps of the project.

We are currently issuing a tender for 3-4 contractors to work on the project over the 8 communities, based primarily in Tipperary, again subject to funding approval from SEAI.

Please contact Gearoid Fitzgibbon (NTLP) on 067 56676 if you have any questions or queries regarding this year’s project.

Posted in 2015 Scheme

ECT comes second in National Awards

The Get Involved Awards Presentation took place on the 26th of February in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone. Energy Communities Tipperary had been nominated to attend the award ceremony, representatives from the ECT group on the day were: Noel Byrne(DUET), Con Harrington(DUET), Alan Madden(LRET), Jackie Hogan(LRET) and Gearoid Fitzgibbon(NTLP).

Energy Communities Tipperary was unfortunately beaten on the day by Limerick Community Grocery (LCG) who is also a fantastic community run organisation. They received the first prize award of €5000, but Energy Communities Tipperary came a very respectable second place and picked up the second prize award of €1000. This is a huge achievement for the group and it’s a great token for the hard work and dedication that has gone into the Energy project last year.

Below is a picture of the community representatives with the second place award

Front from L to R: Duncan Stewart(Tv Producer & Judge), Alan Madden(LRET), Jackie Hogan(LRET), Gary Cotter(Editor, Nenagh Guardian), Back from L to R: David Ryan   (General Manager, Nenagh Guardian), Gearoid Fitzgibbon(NTLP), Con Harrington(DUET), Noel Byrne(DUET) and Brian Motherway.

Get involved picture

Posted in Awards, Energy Team, Media Coverage

2015 Community Scheme to Improve Your Home/Business

Are you interested in getting a grant to reduce what you spend on heating your home/business?
Would you like to be part of a community-run scheme to save energy and create work in your parish?
Following the success of the Energy Communities Tipperary scheme last year, with support from North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, we are now seeking householders interested in taking part in the 2015 SEAI Better Energy Community Insulation Grant scheme in the following areas:
Drombane/Upperchurch;Lorrha/Rathcabban;Kilcommon/Rearcross;Birdhill; Borrisokane.Cloughjordan and Loughmore.

SUMMARY OF GRANTS AVAILABLE
Under Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)’s Better Energy Communities Scheme, groups of houses and businesses can avail of:
a 30% grant on energy upgrades (3 upgrade items must be chosen for your home/business).
a 100% grant, if you are in receipt of a fuel allowance.
A 50% grant, for energy upgrades on Community Buildings
Work can include:
Attic Insulation/Cavity wall insulation
External wall insulation
New condensing oil boilers/New stoves
Heating control upgrades
Windows & door replacement
Chimney Draft Excluder

These upgrades are based on a whole house/business solution and not just one room in your house been upgraded.
NOTE: This is a competitive grant; there is no guarantee that this project will be awarded an SEAI grant.
*REMINDER NB Please return by February11th 2015
To register your interest in carrying out insulation and heating upgrade works as part of a group scheme please fill out Interest Form and return to: NTLP Office, 2nd Floor, Friars Court, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary.
The Application form for the scheme can also be filled out online http://www.bit.ly/ectform2
To get more information, please contact Gearóid Fitzgibbon on 085-7409023 or gfitzgibbon@ntlp.ie Or see http://www.energycommunities.wordpress.com website.

Posted in 2015 Scheme

Energy Communities Tipperary Householder Interest Form

Posted in Householders

Opportunity for Community Groups with an interest in Energy

Energy Communities Tipperary (ECT) is an initiative seeking to create energy self sufficiency for communities in Tipperary by harnessing supports available through the Better Energy Communities scheme run by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Since 2011, volunteers from 4 Tipperary communities, with support from North Tipperary LEADER Partnership (NTLP), have generated investment worth nearly €2 million, saving energy and generating local employment.

For 2015, the volunteer steering group of ECT is looking at the possibility of including 2-3 additional areas in its application to SEAI. ECT is seeking expressions of interest from active communities interested in clustering together a group of 20-30 householders in their local area, interested being part of a group submission to SEAI to carry out insulation and energy efficiency improvements on their homes.

To participate, groups should be well linked into a geographical area, show a track record of work as a group, and an ability to market the energy scheme with householders in their area using Energy Communities Tipperary’s material. Groups will also supply contact details for at least 4 members of their community group or energy team.

ECT will select groups on the basis of the information supplied. No appeals will be allowed, as the overall joint application needs to be submitted before March 31st.

More information is available on this initiative from the following website: http://www.energycommunities.wordpress.com Expression of interest forms can be downloaded from this link: http://www.bit.ly/ectform1 by emailing fitzgibbong@gmail.com or texting your name to 085-7409023.

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Posted in Energy Team, Householders

ECT and Nenagh Guardian Shortlisted for “Get Involved” Award

The Nenagh Guardian Get Involved Project has been shortlisted in the final judging stage of the competition. The objective of the Get Involved Project is for communities all over Ireland, in partnership with their local newspapers, to bring about real change in their area in meaningful sustainable environmental projects.

The Energy Communities Tipperary project was submitted through The Guardian entitled “” as a local community-run energy retrofit scheme ongoing in certain parishes in North Tipperary since 2010. In 2014, as part of this project energy efficiency upgrades have been carried out on 119 homes and two community buildings across the four parishes of Kilcommon/Rearcross, Birdhill, Lorrha/Rathcabbin and Drombane/Upperchurch.

North Tipperary LEADER Partnership (NTLP) have provided secretarial assistance to the project since its inception and has been instrumental in securing grant funding of between 30% and 100% through SEAI(Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) under the Better Energy Communities Scheme which carries out energy efficiency upgrades on the homes of fuel allowance recipients, community buildings and other households. The Tipperary Energy Agency has also been involved in assisting this project.

The panel of three judges, including environmentalist and broadcaster Duncan Stewart, recently visited the NTLP office in Nenagh to meet with the Get Involved Guardian application team for final assessment before they announce the winning projects, for which there is a combined prize fund of €7,000. More information is available from www.energycommunities.wordpress.com

– See more at: http://www.nenaghguardian.ie/news/roundup/articles/2014/12/10/4034451-guardian-get-involved-project-shortlisted-for-award

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Posted in Awards, Community Energy, Media Coverage

In the last 4 for Best Community Energy Award

Noel Byrne (Drombane Upperchurch Energy Team) and Gearóid Fitzgibbon (North Tipperary LEADER Partnership) are travelling to Dublin tomorrow evening representing 4 Tipperary Communities, including KilcommonRearcrossEnergyTeam at the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) Energy Awards. Wish us luck!!!

Posted in Awards, Media Coverage

Tipperary Energy Upgrade Now Complete

HERE’S AN EDITED VERSION OF AN UPDATE BY LIAM LYNCH OF KILCOMMON/REARCROSS ENERGY TEAM – http://bit.ly/10aUAGl

Well folks the 2014 Better Energy Communities (BEC) scheme is now officially complete. Marcella Maher Keogh, our Project Manager, has today submitted the final drawdown request to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for all of the communities in this year’s scheme.

There have been three drawdown requests to date to Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland which includes the total costs of all work, Project Management and VAT.

The total costs of all four communities (Kilcommon/Rearcross, Drumbane/Upperchurch, Lorrha/Rathcabbin and Birdhill) was an impressive €1,078,667, with the SEAI providing grant aid of €840,009.

The Energy Credits submission will be sent in soon as well and we hope to receive money for the credits from ESB Electric Ireland early in 2015, which will be used for a community fund.

For those of you who have had work done under this year’s scheme, we hope you enjoy your warmer house and lower fuel bills this winter and beyond. Most importantly please tell others about the improvements you have noticed.

If the SEAI do this scheme again in 2015, we want to do more households and have more work done to benefit as many people as possible.

We will make everyone aware if and when the 2015 scheme kicks off and arrange a meeting for anyone interested as soon as it is arranged (probably January).

Finally a big thank you for all involved in this years scheme, particularly Marcella, Gearóid Fitzgibbon, Marc Tanner (both from North Tipp LEADER) and all those who gave their time to attend the many meetings.

Please share this update as widely as possible!!!

Posted in Energy Team