Kilkenny’s Energy Town
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership offering up to €100,000 plus in supports for top Kilkenny Energy Town
The search is on for Kilkenny’s Energy Town, a sustainable energy hub which will reap up to €100,000 in supports as well as expert help from the region’s top energy agency.
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) included a ‘Town of Energy’ audit and carbon reduction plan at the core of its 2014- 2020 LEADER Local Development Strategy. It has now teamed up with the not-for-profit energy experts for the region, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), to execute that plan.
The whole county initiative will support communities and business interests in a number of qualifying, mid-sized towns in the county, with a population of 1,000 plus, to become more sustainable and energy efficient and reduce their carbon emissions. From this, one overall winner will be crowned Kilkenny’s Energy Town.
A series of information meetings are being held in four key, central hubs to explain the initiative and householders, residential groups, businesses and the wider community in these areas and the surrounding hinterland, who are interested in competing, are all encouraged to attend and see how they might benefit.
The free, hour-long and easy to understand information events, all beginning at 7pm sharp, start out in Callan on Thursday, February 28 with a session at the KCAT Art and Study Centre on Mill Lane. The Barrow Valley Activities Hub in Graiguenamanagh is the venue for the second information session on Monday, March 4. The third information evening is in Vision Mooncoin on Thursday, March 7. The final session runs on Monday, March 11, at Castlecomer Hall. It is hoped that interested communities will turn out in numbers at their nearest meeting point.
Selected towns will be invited to audit their current use of energy and carbon emissions and to develop a plan to optimise their energy sustainability, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership CEO, Declan Rice, explained.
“This plan is expected to include optimal use of the available local sources of renewable energy as well as carbon reduction proposals. While many interested communities may want to compete, they may feel they lack the professional expertise to deliver their plan. LEADER will make funds available towards the development of those energy and carbon audits and optimisation plans.
“The multi-disciplinary 3CEA team will be the technical support provider. They will help communities to draft their specifications for the plans and in the assessment of those plans. At the end of the process, one of the towns will be offered the opportunity to apply for resources to become Kilkenny’s Sustainable Energy Town,” he added.
LEADER’s Christine Walshe added: “We strongly encourage interested communities, businesses and individuals to come together to embrace this. The information evenings will give an introduction to the initiative and make it clear what we expect of them, the timelines involved etc. We will also explain in detail the technical support which will be made available through 3CEA.”
Energy Engineer with 3CEA, Jane Wickham, said: “We work with householders, businesses, industry and communities across the three counties of Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford and know there is an appetite out there to become more energy efficient and reduce harmful emissions. What is often lacking is the technical expertise and financial support. This initiative offers competing communities both. We look forward to engaging with participating groups and making Kilkenny one of Ireland’s most sustainable energy hubs for generations to come.”
Six years ago, KLP launched a similar competition – the Kilkenny Town of Food. Thomastown won out as the community that best highlighted a culture of food appreciation, education and training. It received substantial grant aid for capital works as well as food related training and education programmes, marketing assistance and other expert support.
Kilkenny People Press Release, February 18th: https://www.kilkennypeople.ie/news/home/364758/kilkenny-leader-partnership-offers-100-000-plus-in-supports-for-top-kilkenny-energy-town.html
Free information evenings are being held to explain the initiative:
- Thursday 28th February at 7pm – KCAT Art & Study Centre, Mill Lane, Callan
- Monday 4th March at 7pm – Barrow Valley Activities Hub, Old Dock, Graiguenamanagh
- Thursday 7th March at 7pm – Vision Mooncoin, Parish Hall, Main Street, Mooncoin
- Monday 11th March at 7pm – Castlecomer Community Hall, 10 Kilkenny St, Castlecomer