Government launches domestic solar power grant for homeowners

Save money on energy bills.

The Government has launched a new grant scheme encouraging homeowners to install solar power generators.

The pilot scheme offers grants for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels and battery storage systems. SEAI grant offers homeowners up to €3,800 to support the installation of Solar PV panels and battery energy storage systems. This will reduce the electricity a homeowner currently purchases from a supplier and can save you around €220 a year in electricity costs by taking advantage of the scheme.  Continue reading “Government launches domestic solar power grant for homeowners”

Agri Event Set to Showcase Sustainable Technologies

Energy Now Expo Ireland returns to Kilkenny this October

TAKING place on the 24th and 25th October 2018, the second Energy Now Expo Ireland is returning to Kilkenny following the huge success of the inaugural event last year.

Set to be the foremost renewable energy event for farmers and landowners, the two-day event will be based at The Hub, Cillin Hill, Kilkenny. It will feature expert speakers and exhibitors, who will be delivering the latest developments in renewable technology and showcasing innovative new products.   Continue reading “Agri Event Set to Showcase Sustainable Technologies”

ReDirect Ireland – Opportunity to learn about a Welsh Community. Trust approach to resource efficiency on farms.

The ReDirect Ireland project would like to invite you to our online meeting this Thursday 21st June from 11 – 12.  This is an opportunity to hear the details of a ReDirect Partner approach.  In Wales a community trust called ‘Cwm Harry’ are taking existing residual biomass, putting it through the ‘IFBB’ process, followed by a pyrolysis, with the intent of producing biochar or activated carbon products and by-products for sale in the economy.  They are in the process of getting the site operational.

Click here to register.

Continue reading “ReDirect Ireland – Opportunity to learn about a Welsh Community. Trust approach to resource efficiency on farms.”

Opportunity for SMEs to avail up to 30% SEAI funding towards lighting upgrade

Why apply for SEAI Lighting Support Scheme?

  • Are you an SME, employing less than 250 people?
  • Want to upgrade to energy efficient lighting or Switching to LED lighting?

Lighting Support Scheme is a government-backed Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) initiative designed for small and medium-sized enterprises to reduce their business maintenance & running costs by implementing lighting upgrades.

Continue reading “Opportunity for SMEs to avail up to 30% SEAI funding towards lighting upgrade”

SME Lighting Upgrade Fund

SME Lighting Upgrade Fund


This is an excellent opportunity for businesses (50 employees or less) to avail of funding towards lighting upgrades. An SEAI programme of support has been announced. Terms and conditions apply and can be found on the SEAI website. The application process requires a lighting audit and evaluation and we suggest that interested businesses contact us right now so that we can schedule a lighting expert to visit you (fee applies).

Please note, all works must be completed by 13th October 2017.

Continue reading “SME Lighting Upgrade Fund”

COP21 Climate Change

Paddy Phelan CKEA attended COP21 conference on Climate Change, in Paris on the 2nd of December 2015, to give a presentation at a workshop hosted by Fedarene, to highlight the excellent work done by St Canices Credit Union, Kilkenny, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the COP21Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency. The main aim of the workshop was to analyze outstanding international local initiatives that contribute to the fight against climate change, to the local resource economy and the development of renewable energies. Hence, highlighting and supporting such initiatives through local actions and their contribution to global goals in the fight against climate change.

The Community Energy Loans (CELs) was initiated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland with St. Canice’s Credit Union Ltd. as lead Applicant and Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency as Project Coordinator. The programme was offering a loan Rate 6.4% (APR 6.6%), 30% loan on all energy efficiency upgrades. Home Renovation Incentive Scheme (HRI), 13.5 tax credit back over 2 Years and a sale of Energy Credits at €0.075 per kWh Saved. The Credit Union had a market of over 40,000 active member accounts.

CELS resultsThe scheme was piloted for the year 2015, in total there were 81 expressions of interest from Credit Union members, with an uptake of 41 completed projects. For the first 6 months of the project the uptake was steady, with a total loan amount approved of €191,06.50 covering 22 energy upgrade projects. However, during the month of October and the first few days of November, there was an acceleration in loan approvals. These loan amounts were for €222,351.40 equating to 21 energy upgrades. Plans for 2016, it is hoped to launch the programme for 2016 during the winter months when people are more aware of energy costs and home comfort conditions. The aim is also to allow an application for a larger project which will greater improve and facilitate applicants during the winter period and to incorporate more Credit Unions within the County. Aso the the wish is to streamline the application process with the introduction of a online application and tender system. It is local initiatives like CELs at that can be the kick start in the fight to improve climate change.

Largest PV Installation

Largest PV Installation in the Republic of Ireland O'Sheas_BEC

Exciting news this week in County Kilkenny, the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA), O’Shea Farms in Piltown and Solar Electric are working on installing the largest Solar PV installation in the Republic of Ireland. O’Shea Farms have a year round electricity demand from refrigerated cold storage. They supply fresh produce to supermarkets across the country all year around. They plan to meet this base load demand with the installation of 250kWp, covering 1,569m² of roof area on and meeting 11% of the total site electricity demand. This project will set O’Shea Farms as the leaders in solar power generation in the Ireland. Jane Wickham, Paddy Phelan and Nigel Kwenda of the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency are working closely with O’Shea Farms on the project management of this installation. The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency was successful in applying for 20% grant for the capital cost of the project through the Better Energy Communities from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

The project received a lot of interest from multinational companies when Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency put it out to tender in early August. The contract was awarded to Solar Electric Ireland Limited from Co. Wexford. O’Shea Farms are currently in the construction phase of the project. Solar Electric Ireland have already delivered an order of 160kW worth of solar panels onsite and construction is to start this Thursday 1st October. The installation and commissioning of the project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2015.

The main advantages of onsite solar power generation at O’Shea Farms are as follows;

  • Solar energy coincides with energy needs for cooling during the summer months. Therefore, a Solar PV System can provide an effective solution to supply energy during peak demands especially in hot summer months where energy demand is high.
  • Solar power generation is carbon neutral hence; it will firmly ground O’Shea Farms’ sustainable practice credentials.
  • Solar power generation does not require a primary energy source attributed with conventional power generation methods. Therefore, it reduces O’Shea Farms’ exposure to fluctuating energy prices.
  • Solar power generation requires little to no operational and maintenance costs compared to other renewable energy technologies.
  • On completion the 250kWp installation will be Ireland’s largest single Solar PV installation setting O’Shea farms as leaders in solar power generation in Ireland.


EPC Street Lighting Event – Santander, Spain

Streetligh EPC logo CKEA website Santander, Spain hosted the recent Street Lighting EPC event. “STREETLIGHT-EPC” is setting up Regional EPC Facilitation Services (helpdesks) in 9 European regions for municipalities and SMEs as potential ESCOs. The partner regions are implementing energy efficient street lighting refurbishment projects using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). This will help create knowledge and trust in both EPC and LED technology” (FEDARENE).

Old street lighting systems can account for 30-50% of municipalities’ total electricity consumption. Yet, current technologies offer 30-70% potential energy savings. These potential savings have been recognised and incorporated into European policies: EU Regulation 245/2009 sets phasing out requirements for nearly 80% of all currently used lamp types between 2012 and 2017. This means that these lamp types will no longer be available on the market for purchase.

Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) offers municipalities an innovative, but still under-used, solution to finance a transition to energy efficient street lighting with energy savings guarantees. Street lighting is a good “learning and testing ground” for EPC due to its lower technical and economic complexity compared to building-related EPC. Furthermore, the recent market introduction of LED technology offers high energy and cost savings with comparatively short pay-back times.

EPC Street Lighting – Successes

Palencia/Spain – a pioneer project

  • Population: 81,000
  • Urban area with 11,000 lighting points.
  • Before renovation, mostly high-pressure sodium lamps and high pressure mercury lamps were used, frequently with low efficiency and insufficient colour rendition.
  • In the context of a streetlight-EPC project, as a first step, 3,139 luminaires were changed to LED.
  • An individual luminaire dimming control system was installed.
  • Contract duration: 12 years
  • Guaranteed energy savings: 75 %
  • Total savings: 2,000,000 Euro

Wels/Austria – comprehensive LED project

  • Population: 61,000 total street lighting system: 7,700 lights and 9,100 lamps
  • Prior to the retrofitting project, mercury vapour discharge lamps (HQL), sodium lamps, plug-in solutions and fluorescent lamps were in use, of which 4,500 were older than 15 years.
  • Between 2011 and 2014, 50 % of the lighting system was converted to LED technology.
  • A third of the street lighting is dimmed to 50 % between 21:30 and 5:30, resulting in increased saving without compromising road safety.
  • Investment by the ESCO: 1,656,000 Euro
  • Contract duration: 7 years
  • Achieved annual savings: 36 % (guaranteed)


Tams2 Pig and Poultry

pig poultry-farmCarlow Kilkenny Energy Agency are currently working with Pig and Poultry farmers under the Tams2 Pig and Poultry Investment Scheme. The scheme is currently open to all farmers who meet the eligibility criteria, offering a standard rate of 40% on investment up to a maximum €80,000.

Areas of investment eligible include:

  • Energy Efficient Boilers
  • Energy Efficient upgrade for farrow house
  • Heat Pumps
  • Solar Panels
  • Water Panels

In 2014, Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency, conducted an audit, on a Pig farm in County Kilkenny. The purpose of the audit was to explore opportunities for reducing energy consumption and costs associated with energy consumption.  CKEA applied for funding for this project under the Better Energy Community (BEC) scheme which gave 35% grant aid on the project outlay. The areas that the farmer implemented included an invertor upgrades on the motor at grain milling silos and lighting upgrades. The total savings from the electrical update amounted to a 7.5% reduction in the overall energy bill. The energy bill was calculated at the total cost of Electricity and Kerosene use. In 2015, the farmer is upgrading his heating system to replace oil with a heat pump. The expected savings from the installation of the Heat pump are 8% reduction on total energy use.

CKEA can conduct an energy audit and make recommendations on any areas that will meet the criteria under the Tams 2 scheme. All applications must be made online by and can be carried out by Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency and processed on behalf on the applicant farmer.  Applications can be made under by registered users of the Department of Agriculture’s website. Scheme details for TAMS II and specifications for buildings are available on the Department’s website.

Our Mission:

The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency aims to reduce kilowatt hours and CO2 emissions while increasing Euros saved and improving sustainability for all our clients.