3CEA urges home owners to apply now for up to 50% grant aid under Deep Retrofit programme

HOME owners across Ireland with houses built in the 60s or 70s, or who are struggling to heat inefficient, more modern homes over 12 years old with an F or a G BER rating, are being urged to group together and apply for a new retrofit scheme which offers between 50% and 95% of grant aid. Continue reading “3CEA urges home owners to apply now for up to 50% grant aid under Deep Retrofit programme”

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”

BEC 2016 – a summary

BEC 2016

BEC 2016: CKEA’s role and projects

Carlow County Council co-ordinated a large and diverse partnership, project managed by Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency. It included 7 sports clubs, 14 private companies (including 1 multinational), 4 local community groups, 1 school and 2 public buildings. The community facilities are mainly concentrated in the Carlow Kilkenny area while the private sector companies are also located in counties Cork, Kildare and Meath. All of the energy credits are going to the community groups and a number of other innovative finance models are being applied including EPRP funding streams.

Leetherm Project Management were the lead applicant in the next BEC 2016 project with CKEA as project co-ordinators, partnering with two private companies, Leetherm and Corca Communications. 12 transport companies entered into an ESCO (Energy Service Company) to reduce their fuel spend through driver training and the installation of a vehicle management system. The resultant energy credits will be donated to finance the community building upgrades. In addition to 55 North & East Housing Association homes in counties Meath and Louth, the community projects include O’Neill Centre Kilkenny, Macroom GAA, Macroom Senior Citizens, Mullinahone GAA, Cloneen Community Hall and Clonmel Golf Club, Carrick-on-Suir rugby club, Ballyhale and Graiguenamanagh national schools, community buildings in Kilkenny and Thomastown, six SOS Kilkenny buildings and Tiglin Challenge, Co Wicklow. The measures include insulation upgrades, lighting, window and door replacements, boiler and heating controls.

Galway County Council lead an application with CKEA providing project management. The projects are primarily located in Co Galway. They include two public sector buildings, seven community buildings, two sports & leisure facilities, four private sector businesses and eight private homeowners on the Aran Islands. One of the private sector projects is located in Tralee, Co Kerry and another in Knock, Co Mayo. Of the 20 partners, 15 are non-residential not-for-profit organisations and the private sector partners are donating the value of their energy credits to the community sector projects. The retrofit measures are primarily insulation, window and door replacements but also include lighting upgrades, boiler replacements, cooling upgrades, controls and one renewable measure. Galway Co Council are using an internal ESCO (Energy Service Company) to fund the two local authority projects which represent 17% of the overall project.

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 agfood.ie 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.

Early Years Capital 2015 for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Pobal, on behalf of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA), would like to announce the Early Years Capital 2015 programme.  DCYA has secured €7 million for Early Years Capital Programme 2015 (EYC2015). EYC2015 is open to early years settings currently providing services under at least one of the three Department of Children & Youth Affairs National Government programmes, Community Childcare Subvention (CCS), Training Education Childcare (TEC) or Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).

 EYC2015 will provide small grants for 4 different strands. Community- based services can make applications against ONE only of Strands 1, 2 or 3 and additionally against Strand 4. NB – All funding must be fully spent and fully reported by 31st December 2015. Further information and application forms will be available on the PIP portal from 29th April 2015. The closing date for applications is the 28th May 2015.

Strand 1 – Relocation/Major Refurbishment of community-based early years services

Strand 2 – Essential Maintenance of community-based early years services

Strand 3 – Quality Improvement & Sustainability for community-based early years services.

Strand 4 – Quality Improvement ICT upgrade for private and community-based early years services.


Strand 3  Quality Improvement & Sustainability for community-based early years services.

Grants up to maximum €50,000 for medium-scale works to improve the Building Energy Rating (BER) of early years facilities.

What can be funded?

Projects that will have immediate or short term, medium/high impact on the energy rating of the building.  For example:

·         building insulation,

·         replacement of windows and doors,

·         draught stripping,

·         improving water and heating systems,

·         installation of thermostatic controls.

An allowance of up to €200 can be claimed as part of the total grant against the cost of the BER Advisory Report and should be included in the quotes template.

What will I need to make an application?

All  applications submitted under Strand 3 must be supported by a BER Advisory Report. A BER Advisory Report must be undertaken by a registered non-domestic BER assessor. A list of registered assessors can be found on the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) website at www.seai.ie.

You will also need three quotes for all proposed works over €5,000 and one quote for all works of €5000 or less.

CKEA can carry out BER Advisory Report. Contact CKEA office on 056 7790856 for further information or send an email to jwickham@ckea.ie