Better Energy Communities Grant 2021- Online Information Event

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) will host a free online event to introduce the Better Energy Communities Grant which is currently open for applications for the 2021 programme.

Date & Time: Tuesday 24th November at 11am-12pm

Register for the event here.

The free online energy information event encourages businesses and community groups to hear from our experts in 3cea to discuss the benefits of the Better Energy Communities Grant.

Businesses, community groups, GAA clubs, crèche owners, schools and many more interested parties are invited to attend as each are eligible to receive up to 30-50% grant aid for their energy projects.

Our energy expert, Fintan O’Hora will host the event on Tuesday November 24th at 11am. Interested groups will gain the required information and support they need to get their Better Energy Communities Grant Programme (BEC) application over the line ahead of the December deadline. Read more

Budget 2021

The government announced Budget 2021 on Tuesday 13th October with many energy related updates.

The budget announced on Tuesday brings hope for a green recovery in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have broken down some key takeaways from Budget 2021 with particular focus on the area of energy.

Carbon Tax

Carbon tax has increased by 7.50 per tonne, with auto fuel immediately coming into effect from Tuesday night (13th October 2020). All other fuels will be in place from May 2021. This carbon tax will increase every year up to 2029.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy, €38 million has been allocated to support projects in the commercial and public sector.

This funding has doubled from 2020 which reflects the government’s commitment in achieving the 2050 goal of becoming a net-zero emission Country.

This year’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction brought success to community-led projects and the government have allocated €3 million in capital funding to locally-owned community energy projects.

An Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme for energy efficiency electrical equipment has been extended by 3 years.

Retrofitting

The government have pledged that over €221 million in funding will be allocated to retrofit schemes, covering both residential and community projects. €100 million of the allocation will be funded through the carbon tax revenue.

The overall figure stands at €286.5 million, which has been committed to retrofit activity, with the inclusion of social housing projects.

The Warmer Homes Scheme will provide retrofitting grants and the National Home Retrofit Scheme will also provide homeowners the opportunity to upgrade their home’s energy efficiency rating to a B2 standard.

The carbon tax is expected to finance over half of the funding needed for such energy efficiency measures.

Additional funding will be available for 1,500 new places in retrofitting courses.

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) & Motor Tax

VRT and motor tax will increase in this Budget in relation to the emissions values from your vehicle. Lower-emitting cars will therefore receive lower VRT rates, with higher tax rates applied to the higher-emitting vehicles. As a result, electric cars will become more competitive as they will have lower motor tax costs.

The VRT reliefs that are in place for electric and hybrid cars will expire as these cars will be receiving the lower rates due to emitting less. NOx surcharge will increase for NOx emitting vehicles.

A 3rd motor tax table will be introduced in 2021 to reflect the new emissions test standards for cars registered from the new year.

Transport

Public transport is one area which is set to be allocated an increase. A €1 billion increase in public transport is planned for 2021.

The increased funding will be developing projects such as BusConnects, MetroLink, and the Dart expansion.

Sustainable mobility is a key area in decarbonising the transport sector and up to €1.8 billion will be allocated to improve public transport; carbon reduction programmes; active travel; and greenways.

2030 Regional Energy Transition Strategy

In January 2020, we launched our 10 year Regional Energy Transition Strategy. 3cea welcome the announcement of this Budget as it highlights the important low carbon choices that we will have to make to reach our goal of transitioning to a low carbon region by 2030.

To achieve the 2030 targets, we all must work together to deliver energy efficiency, clean energy, behaviour change and ultimately greater sustainability – this is what the Regional Energy Transition Strategy to 2030 seeks to address.

Read our 2030 Regional Energy Transition Strategy in full here.

Sustainable Energy Communities – South East SEC Webinar Series

Online Information Events for Communities to be part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) Programme

The aim of these events is to provide basic information and introduce community groups from the South East to the SEC programme, highlighting the recruitment process, community engagement, grants, and funding opportunities. We will provide helpful tips on how to register as a Community for the SEC programme and what you need to do to be successful.

This webinar series will encourage communities in the South East of the country to engage with the SEC programme. The informative events will take place online with each event focusing on a separate topic.

SEC Webinar Series
The dates, topics and registration links are as follows:

22nd Sept: Recruitment Jane Wickham. Southeast SEC Coordinator | Register here
29th Sept: Community Engagement – Fiona O’Loughlin, Wexford SEC Mentor | Register here
6th Oct: Grants – Yvonne Byrne, Waterford SEC Mentor | Register here
13th Oct: Funding Opportunities – Therese Curran, Kilkenny SEC Mentor | Register here

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3cea’s Dynamic Purchasing System – Online Information Event

We will be hosting an online information event for contractors to be part of our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)

The online DPS Information Event will take place on Tuesday the 15th September from 9.30am-10.30am.

The online Information Event will be seeking contractors to be part of our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for the provision of goods and services for energy and climate action consultancy projects and for the provision of energy efficiency, renewable energy and retrofit works (2 lots).

The aim of this event is to provide basic information and introduce the recently published Dynamic Purchasing System to potential contractors in the energy efficiency, renewable energy and retrofitting field. We will provide helpful tips on how to register as a contractor and what you need to do to be successful.

3cea is committed to delivering the National Retrofit Programme and attracting significant investment in energy efficiency and low carbon projects in the region towards 2030. Through the DPS procurement system, 3cea will be partnering with contractors, suppliers, industry experts, technical specialists and associates to help deliver energy efficiency in the South East and beyond. Read more

New Online Training Courses and Webinars

Tipperary Energy Agency have recently launched two CPD accredited online courses and two webinars.

Specification & Design of Heating Systems with Heat Pumps Online Course

The course aims to enhance the knowledge base of the construction sector in Ireland with respect to heat pumps in homes and commercial buildings. The construction sector have to change their method and type of specifications and designs for heating systems from predominately high carbon heating systems to low carbon heating systems. There are a large number of different types of heat pump heating systems available with a myriad of emitters and controls that require more knowledge than before in appliance selection and design as part of an integrated design of renovations and low energy buildings. Full details here.

Solar PV for Homeowners Webinar

The Solar PV for homeowners webinar is aimed at homeowners who are thinking of installing Solar PV panels in their homes. It is free to attend and will provide attendees with the knowledge required to make informed decisions when installing Solar PV. Places are currently full but you can join our waiting list. We will also stream it live on our Facebook page and have a recording available afterwards. Full details available here.

Retrofitting Heat Pumps into Homes: Methodologies & Lessons Learned Webinar

Save the date! On Wednesday, June 24th we will host a webinar with Carbon Coop about retrofitting heat pumps into homes. More details will be available soon. Keep an eye on their website.

Introduction to Specification & Design of NZEB Homes Online Course

The course aims to educate the construction industry in the requirements of deep renovating homes in Ireland. It will cover all elements of upgrading the building fabric of an Irish building, it does not cover heating systems. It will cover wall, floor and roof upgrades, required regulations, ventilation, air-tightness, interstitial condensation. Full details available here.

EUSEW2020 Empowering Consumers Through Energy Communities

If Europe wants to achieve the energy transition and ultimately climate neutrality, change must happen locally and in a more inclusive way. Empowering citizens and communities is central to the success of the European Green Deal as well as in speeding up the EU recovery efforts. It will support putting solidarity at the heart of the recovery.

The Clean Energy for all Europeans package represents an important step towards building a legal and policy framework that recognises citizens as a driving force of the energy transition. For the first time, EU legislation officially defines Energy Communities as key actors in empowering consumers and in speeding up the energy transition. It provides them with a clear set of rights and obligations and calls for Member States to design enabling frameworks supporting their development.

The concept of Energy Communities refers to collective actions, offering new ways for citizens to participate in the energy system and to take ownership. They can bring direct benefits to consumers and the community, facilitating the uptake and use of clean energy solutions while generating local jobs and supporting local SMEs and economic growth. They aim to realise a fair and more inclusive energy transition and effectively fight climate change. In this context, fit-for-purpose transposition into national law will be essential for the successful development of energy communities.

The purpose of this session is to raise awareness on the opportunities offered to citizens when participating in Energy Communities as well as how it can contribute to the recovery efforts. It will further inform the ongoing debate on what needs to be done to create an enabling environment for the development of Energy Communities, looking at opportunities and challenges for specific territories such as islands, rural and urban areas. The respective intervention will accordingly focus on:

–           The framework for Energy Communities in EU legislation;

–           What socio-economic benefits do Energy Communities bring to citizens and territories;

–           Best practices from existing communities and stakeholders’ recommendations; reflecting the opportunities and challenges of specific territories such as islands, rural and urban areas.

 

 REGISTER HERE

 

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remote energy audits

What Makes an Effective Remote Energy Audit?

Remote Energy Audits & Glenmalure Sustainable Energy Community

Under the current restrictions and HSE guidelines, 3cea have had to get creative to continue with business as usual. One novel idea developed by the energy engineering team took on the concept of remote energy audits where 3cea staff could work collaboratively with homeowners to complete online surveys. This idea was undertaken as part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) project in Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow where several domestic and commercial audits were already complete in the Energy Master Plan before the lockdown, however, a number of these were still outstanding.

As a team, the energy engineers here in 3cea developed an online survey with specific energy questions for both domestic homes and non-domestic buildings. Adapting to the situation and deciding on the remote audit idea, the 3cea team contacted the 6 remaining homeowners and pitched the idea of a remote energy audit for their homes. The homeowners were delighted to continue with the progression of their SEC project and agreed to participate. They welcomed the sense of community spirit within this collaborative project, the first time such a project would be conducted since 3cea was established.

The process involved in the remote energy audit project required serious thought into what the desired outcome was to achieve, while also considering how each homeowner would be comfortable and ultimately efficient in conducting the measurements. To begin with, a blank survey was sent to each homeowner with specific questions about their house which included the building fabric, the heating system, the type of lighting, the measurement of walls, windows, and the overall area of the home.

Homeowner taking measurements

Following the survey, homeowners were asked to take a photo of each facade of their home and provide the drawings of the house. The final step of the process asked the homeowners to send the completed survey, photos and drawings to our energy engineers who then conducted the energy audit. At times it was necessary to get in touch with the homeowner through email or over the phone to confirm vital pieces of information, which to our benefit, the homeowners had no problem answering.

House drawings with measurements

After receiving the details and conducting the energy audit, the technical team were able to analyse the data and develop a two-page energy report for each house. The seamless interaction between the energy engineers and the homeowners was a real eye-opening moment as it raised the questions of what the future of energy auditing could look like. Using online tools and out of the box thinking, a practical and well-designed solution was possible, introducing an exciting prospect for future collaboration.

3cea would like to thank the homeowners in the Glenmalure SEC project for their patience and cooperation throughout the process. The level of understanding from the homeowners made the development of this innovative project a great success and one in which we hope to build on going forward.

Have a look at our community page to learn more about our community projects.

According to SEAI, an Energy Audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for identification of energy savings opportunities in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy input into the system, without negatively affecting the output(s).

Looking for a quote for a remote energy audit?

We would love to hear from you, fill out a short form and a member of our team will be in contact.

Register for the European City Facility webinar to introduce the EUCF project to Irish Local Authorities

Participate in the EUCF Irish Workshop on June, 22nd 2020, and unlock financing for your sustainable energy plans!

The European City Facility (EUCF) identifies municipalities and local authorities as the driving force behind a sustainable energy transition. The EUCF is designed by cities for cities and is set up under Horizon 2020. The initiative involves financial support of 60,000 euro for local authorities to develop investment concepts relating to their climate and energy action plans. A lump sum will be received by successful applicants to develop their investment concepts, while the EUCF plan to encourage sustainable energy projects in local authorities across Europe.

A webinar will be held to introduce the EUCF project to Irish local authorities. In the Irish context, Tipperary Energy Agency are Ireland’s Country Expert while 3cea are the national communication network. Together, we have organised a webinar to introduce the project with specific emphasis on the application process. Siona Daly of Tipperary Energy Agency will host the webinar this coming Monday. The webinar will begin at 2:30pm and will involve a presentation on the EUCF initiative with a Q&A session to conclude. Read more

Breakfast Briefing Events to guide your business to a Low Carbon Economy

Free Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office initiative to increase awareness around sustainability and the low carbon economy

MANUFACTURING businesses across the south east employing less than 10 people are being offered a unique opportunity to cut harmful emissions and make significant energy, waste, water and other savings through the landmark Green for Micro programme.

Local Enterprise Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary are pooling their resources, talents and skills for ‘Green for Micro’. The ground-breaking Enterprise Ireland-funded initiative will assist businesses in transitioning to a low-carbon economy and could be rolled out nationally, those behind the initiative say.

Hands-on tips, expertise, mentoring, audits and more will be provided by project collaborators, the 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea). The independent, not-for-profit team of energy engineers at 3cea will help participating enterprises examine their energy, waste, water, procurement and transport needs and make more informed, environmentally-friendly choices.

The first in a series of free breakfast briefings explaining Green for Micro to industry and to increase awareness around sustainability and the low carbon economy begins on Tuesday, January 28 at Wexford’s Ferrycarrig Hotel, starting at 8.00am.

Sessions follow in Waterford’s Tower Hotel on Tuesday, February 11; Kilkenny’s Newpark Hotel on Thursday, February 13; Horse & Jockey in Tipperary on Tuesday, February 18 with the final, free breakfast briefing takes place in Carlow’s Woodford Dolmen Hotel on Thursday, February 20. Each breakfast briefing runs from 8.30am to 9.30am sharp.

Phase two of the project will then involve energy audits carried out on ten micro, manufacturing businesses – two in each of the five participating counties. The results of their findings will be showcased at a conference as part of phase three of the initiative. The final phase of the Enterprise Ireland-funded programme will see monitoring equipment installed at various enterprises.

Enterprise Ireland Regional Executive, Brian Fives said: “Micro enterprises across the South East are eager to play their part in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Green for Micro shows them the way. Auditing their energy consumption, mapping the results and monitoring their transition will provide an invaluable insight into how every enterprise can play its part in Ireland meeting its 2030 climate targets. We are proud to be leading the way here in the South East.”

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny’s Aileen McGrath : “We urge qualifying micro enterprises to attend the no obligation breakfast briefing, pick up an expression of interest form and see how even the smallest of changes in their manufacturing processes and general business decisions can make a big difference. While our primary target is manufacturing, micro enterprises in other sectors may also qualify and we encourage them to attend,” she said.

3cea Energy Engineer, Shane Faulkner, said: “We will provide each participating enterprise with up to nine days of expert help which will include audits, reports and mentoring. The level of buy-in from manufacturers in the region is extremely encouraging and are really looking forward to playing our part. The fact we’re working at a regional level rather than with individual manufacturing enterprises and in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices across the region makes Green for Micro a massive game changer for the entire South East, beyond even,” he said.

Green for Micro is one of three projects grant-aided to the tune of €345,000 by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD and lead by Kilkenny and Carlow Local Enterprise Offices in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Offices from Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

The other projects include Initium South East and Incrementum South East.  The Initium South East project is an innovative series of start-up programmes led by the South East Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, and the Ireland South East Office in partnership with South East BIC and IT Carlow. It aims to animate, develop and support the creation of 40 new specialised Start Up companies in the South East.

The Incrementum South East project is a targeted business development programme for the Local Enterprise Office Portfolio of clients over 10 employees which aims to increase their engagement in R&D and Export Activity.

About this event

Registration & breakfast for the event starts at 8 am, the first speaker will begin at 8:30 am.

The Breakfast Briefing events are free to attend but please register your attendance on Eventbrite or by contacting Mari or Patrick on 0567790856 or at events@3cea.ie

Wexford Event – Register Here

Waterford Event – Register Here

Kilkenny Event – Register Here

Carlow Event – Register Here

Tipperary Event – Register Here

There will be speakers representing local businesses to talk about what they have done in improving the environmental and cost competitiveness of their business.

Real life stories and case studies 

At the first Breakfast Briefing event in Wexford, Killowen Farm and Kehoe’s Potatoes will give an overview of the projects they have undertaking including measuring and monitoring, reducing waste, installing LED lights, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity and putting a plan in place to to tackle their rising costs.

3cea will give a presentation on supports available to SMEs and how to access theses supports and grants.

Two years in the life of the 3cea electric car

In December 2017, 3cea purchased a Volkswagen E-Golf, the car was a demo model used by VW to promote their own electric vehicles, we decided to purchase the car with the aim of firstly reducing carbon emissions, promoting the use of electric vehicles and in turn this would also have the advantage of reducing staff travel costs.

 

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