Kilkenny one of Ireland’s most energy efficient counties: 3CEA
THE Kilkenny-headquartered 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) is helping a growing number of home owners, businesses, community groups and organisations to cut their energy costs and cut down on harmful carbon emissions.
Latest figures released both by 3CEA and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) reveals Kilkenny continues to be one of the most energy efficient counties in Ireland, with growing numbers of home owners snapping up energy grants, availing of free energy poor home upgrades and carrying out deep retrofits.
Provisional figures show 3CEA achieved over €8.569 million in cumulative energy savings since 2013.
In Kilkenny, €5.278 million worth of savings were achieved over that period, making it the highest performing of the three counties. The bulk of those energy savings were in the non-domestic sector where almost €3.7 million was saved, compared to almost €1.59 million for domestic customers.
Last year, 3CEA completed several large Better Energy Community Projects in Kilkenny, with the help of grant aid from SEAI. It worked with the Irish Wheelchair Association to make its 1980s headquarters more energy efficient – and it is now saving €4,360 on its annual energy bills.
Works at Castlecomer Library included heating works which cost €15,000. A third of them were grant aided and the library energy bill fell by €1,220 per annum. Works were also carried out at Ballyfacey National School in Mooncoin to reduce their consumption of oil for heating purposes.
Works were also carried out at a catering foods unit at Pococke House. Solar panels costing €10,000 were installed. The project was grant aided to the tune of €3,180. The company is now saving over €1,200 per annum.
At Mount Carmel Nursing Home, a high efficiency condensing oil boiler was added and LED lighting installed. Solar panels were also added. In all, €23,000 worth of grant aid was provided for the €46,000 works. Mount Carmel is now saving close to €5,000 in energy bills each year.
Another project saw the 40-year-old boiler at St Canice’s Church replaced with a high efficiency natural gas condensing boiler. The works cost €24,000. 3CEA helped secure a €12,000 grant for the works and their energy bill is down over €2,600 every year.
3CEA Senior Engineer Alexandra Hamilton said because they’re a not-for-profit business, clients get product-independent advice from an expert team of energy engineers which always has their best interests at heart. But she says they are still astounded by the number of people, communities and businesses who don’t know about the grant supports readily available to help finance works.
She added: “We applied for grants totalling €2.2 million for our service users last year, saving them approximately €0.5 million on their energy bills. Most of these were across our three core counties of Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. But a number were in the midlands.
“If people are planning works for 2020, they need to get their energy audit done now and to get in touch. Lots of people want to carry out upgrade works. They want to be more environmentally friendly. But they don’t know where to start. That is where we come in. We will take them through what needs to be done, what grants they can apply for, how they can best save money on energy and save on emissions.”