Save the Date for the 2nd Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) International Conference

The 2nd Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) international conference will take place on 28-29 June 2022 in Zagreb under the theme “Moving towards energy autonomy: How to guarantee social inclusion”. The conference is co-hosted by the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub initiative, the city of Zagreb and DOOR, the civil society organisation devoted to the promotion of sustainable energy development. Register here.

The geopolitical context and the energy market reality that it creates have made it even more challenging for not only energy-poor consumers but all EU citizens to cope with soaring energy prices. The pressing need for just energy transition is now more needed than ever. REPowerEU is the EU’s new plan aiming to diversify gas supplies, speed up the roll-out of renewable gas and replace gas in heating and power generation with the ultimate goal of phasing out the dependence on fossil fuels from Russia before 2030. The ambiguous plan comes as a response to soaring energy prices and as a complementary plan to the European Green Deal, the EU’s overarching growth plan to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

This shift towards a faster and more sustainable energy transition for all can become an opportunity for mitigating energy poverty. What are the lessons learnt from the current geopolitical crisis and how can the EU, national and local governments work together in turning this challenge into an opportunity for tackling energy poverty and ensuring just and sustainable energy for all?

During the conference of the leading EU initiative on local action against energy poverty, EPAH will bring together local governments, EU representatives, policymakers, energy agencies, civil society organisations and all stakeholders active in energy poverty. The agenda will include a mix of keynote speeches, debates, interactive workshops and field visits that will allow the participants to debate, learn from each other and share practices as to how the EU, national and local actors can work together to contribute to the rapid energy transition and reduce energy poverty for all including energy-poor and vulnerable consumers

The EPAH International Conference is open to all interested stakeholders to join in Zagreb upon registration. Some sessions will be broadcasted online.  Stay tuned on the EPAH website for more information and spread the word across your network. The agenda is also available on the EPAH Website.

Meet the Buyer: 3CEA’s Dynamic Purchasing System Event

The DPS Information Event will take place on Tuesday 21st of June from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm at the Hoban Hotel in Kilkenny.

This in-person 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.

This DPS is being established for a period of ten years in accordance with the European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016 (SI 284 of 2016) (‘the Regulations’) for the purchasing of certain energy-related goods and services and the provision of energy efficiency, renewable energy and retrofitting works divided into two lots in order to support 3cea’s strategy to deliver energy-related projects and partner with experts in particular fields.

The event will offer a chance for all attendees to:

• Meet the 3cea team & briefing on potential works/projects to 2030

• Understand the upcoming DPS framework and its procurement process

• Ask questions on how to get on the framework as a contractor

 

How to Save Cash on Your Energy Bills

Original article was written by Paul Deane for RTE

Reducing energy use is the most immediate measure we can do to reduce our exposure to high energy bills

Energy prices are at an all time high, as international oil and gas prices rise in response to the invasion in Ukraine and wider global issues. Ireland is one of the most fossil fuel dependant countries in Europe, spending on average €20 million each day importing fossil fuels from abroad. The consequence of this high reliance is reflected in our high transport, heating, and electricity bills.

Saving energy and reducing our energy use is the most immediate measure we can do to reduce our exposure to high energy bills. At a local level, a typical family of four will spend between €6,000 and €7,000 per year on energy. Half of this will be on petrol or diesel for the car, with the balance split between home heating and electricity.

But it must be remembered that many people – especially the sick, elderly, and vulnerable – have a much higher exposure and less ability to change energy use and these people need targeted financial protection from the government. However, a high portion of the population can financially benefit from saving energy and the tips below are for families and individuals who are in good health.

Can you save money on your car?

About one-third of the petrol and diesel we put into our cars over the year in Ireland is used for short trips of less than 8km. If we can avoid one in five of these trips, we would save between €300 to €500 per year. Trips can be avoided by cycling, walking, carpooling and lift sharing with neighbours (i.e. on the school drop) and trying to double up on trips. The pandemic also allowed many employers and workers to try remote working and maintaining this practice will significantly reduce the amount we spend on fuel for our cars.

If you do have to travel a long distance on a motorway, driving a little slower will save you money. Driving at 100 kph rather than 120 kph on a round trip from Cork to Dublin will save you €10 in fuel costs, while the trip will take an extra 50 minutes.

Heating up

Unfortunately, Ireland has a poor housing stock, with most homes wasting more heat than usefully using it. A house built in the 1990s with oil central heating costs a family about five times more annually to heat than the same sized house built in recent times using a modern electric heat pump. The Government offer generous grants for improving insulation and new heating systems, but these are still financially out of reach for many families.

However, controlling the heat required by adjusting the thermostat can give big savings for families who can do this. Reducing the internal thermostat from 21 degrees to 18 degrees will save between €400 and €500 each year

Families who use oil for central heating should regularly check with local suppliers and try to avail of discounts or lower prices that can occur over summer months when demand for oil is low.

The story with appliances

Just five appliances are responsible for about half of our electricity use so using these less will have a positive impact on reducing your electricity bill. If you use an electric shower, this will likely be the appliance that costs you most so taking a shorter shower will save you money.

While a lot of focus is sometimes on plugging out TVs, phones and tablets etc, the overall financial impact of these actions is relatively small. Modern appliances are mandated to use very little power on standby mode so focusing on appliances that use most electricity will offer the biggest savings.

The government launched a strategy last week with more information on how to reduce energy use. An important social element across communities is to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours to see they are prepared for the months ahead. The strategy must be clear from a national perspective: protect those who can’t afford to reduce consumption, and encourage those who can.

Going Green for Business : Waterford Chamber

As part of Waterford Chambers ‘Green Month’ in May, 3CEA are excited to take part in Going Green for Business event. We will be presenting on funding opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for businesses, communities and homeowners in the Waterford area.

You will also hear from Owen Power of Enerpower on the latest energy offerings and from Energia on practical implementation without disruption to business. We will also have a number of industry agencies and professionals on site to discuss your needs.

The event is free and will help you along your own sustainable journey. Waterford Chamber is committed to the UN Sustainability Goals and a key stakeholder of the Waterford Green Deal initiative. Please join us as we work together for a better Waterford for everyone.

Register for FREE here

 

Wexford’s Transition to Electric Vans

In November 2021, the same month as COP26, the Department of Transport in Ireland published and launched the Climate Action Plan of 2021. This plan sets out a pathway that will transform how we travel with decarbonisation creating a cleaner greener transport system. Transport causes 18% of our carbon emissions. The plan sets out a pathway towards achieving a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. It will be updated annually, and it outlines the steps required over the next 9 years to radically transform the way you travel and with that our move towards a fully decarbonised transport sector. There are over 70 actions in the transport chapter of the plan however the key metrics or tactical initiatives identified for and up to 2030 are as follows:

Suffice to say – we are entering a period of rapid and unparalleled change in the transport sector.  The International Energy Agency reports that it expects global transport to double, however, major technological innovations can help offset this rise in demand. As the world shifts towards lower-carbon electricity sources, the rise of electric vehicles and the development of biofuel alternatives offer a viable option to reduce emissions.

Decarbonising Wexford

Wexford County Council are committed to addressing their environmental impact, conserving resources and improving their bottom line through efficient energy management. Certification for the international, best practice Energy Management Standard ISO 50001 was achieved last year further paving the way towards better energy efficiency and carbon targets for 2030 and beyond. Wexford County Council achieved over 39% improvement in energy performance up to 2020 exceeding the 33% target (as outlined in the SEAI public sector Annual report 2021 published in February 2022).

Electric Vehicles

Wexford County Council own and operate a fleet of over 250 vehicles to carry out their service delivery plan to the county. They are leading the way in the drive towards decarbonising their working fleet. It is estimated that 12-15% of the fleet of 250 vehicles is considered suitable to change over to EV

The first EV was purchased three years ago. There are now six fully electric vans servicing the county, three electric forklifts have replaced three diesels. One van has been placed at Wexford County Hall and three are for general use in the machinery yard. Another van is being used by the fire service and lastly one by the environmental warden. Hugh Russell, the machinery yard manager, is very impressed with the vehicles saying that the EVs were first put in place as run-abouts so that staff could experience what they are like for themselves. “They have been very well received, they’re easier to use with their stop/go pedals and are a smoother and quieter drive.”

Work is ongoing to help identify the next top ten vehicles to be replaced. Issues taken into consideration include the availability of off-street parking, employee buy-in, expenses policy, human resources and industrial relations. Community warden vans are being assessed for the transition to EV and an EV pickup is coming on trial soon. This vehicle will be suitable for many applications and can tow a 750kg trailer.

Currently, Wexford County Council are also looking at developing the infrastructure needed to serve these vehicles. They are looking at perhaps leaving these vans to charge in depots, the housing section are also to come on board with requirements for small vans and the infrastructure/facilities to charge them. EV chargers are currently installed in the following locations

  1. Four Double EV Chargers fitted to WCC County Hall (1x22Kw and 3x 7kw)
  2. Three Double 7kw EV Chargers fitted to Enniscorthy Machinery yard
  3. Double 22kw EV Chargers fitted to Wexford fire station
  4. Double 22kw EV Chargers fitted to Gorey fire station
  5. Two x Double 22kw EV Chargers being fitted to Whitemills depot, Wexford at present
  6. Gorey civic office considering chargers
  7. NR & EY civic offices to be assessed for EV chargers

New Public EV charging stations are confirmed for Kilmore Quay, Curracloe and Carrigfoyle. A gap analysis will be carried out in 2022 for even more installations throughout the county.

 

Direct Comparison

The EV used by the environmental warden, an LDV Maxus e-Deliver 52.5kWh panel van replaced a diesel – 2017 Citroen Berlingo. Data from both vehicles were analysed covering a period of six months and 15,852km.

Just like petrol or diesel engine cars, the consumption of EVs depends on the model and the manufacturer, however, to measure the fuel (electricity), we calculate how many kilowatt hours it takes to move an EV from one point to another in the same way as we would calculate how many litres of petrol/diesel is used to do the same work. An electric vehicle is more energy efficient, and a cleaner source of energy given that an EV directly converts electricity into movement. A conventional petrol/diesel must burn fuel (creating heat and dirt/smoke as a by-product) and then convert that heat into motion thus making the process less efficient.

Using the same data, it was found that the EV was indeed outperforming its predecessor on every level. Emitting 39% less CO2 and using 35% less energy to do the same work. Using today’s fuel costs of €1.676/Litre for diesel and €0.240/kWh for electricity a comparison was made for the same distance over the 6-month period, a saving of €734.30 was recorded. The EV was using 19.88kWh of energy to travel 100km whereas the diesel van was using 57.06kWh to travel the same distance.

Carbon Emissions

Emissions data for the 34 diesel vans analysed in this study from May 2020 to January 2022 total 408 Tonnes of CO2. That is equivalent to the carbon emitted by driving over 1 million miles in an average petrol car and the same amount of carbon stored by 6700 newly planted trees over 10 years. The graph below shows CO2 emissions during this time. We can also see the dip in vehicle use during 2020.

CO2 emissions from a fleet of 34 diesel vans

 

Using the emission figures from the 34 diesel vans and replacing them with the emission figures of the LDV Maxus e-Deliver 52.5kWh panel van we can see a substantial drop in emissions as shown in the graph below. If all 34 vans were the same EV van, then only 90 tonnes of co2 would be produced, a drop of 317 tonnes of CO2. The 90 tonnes of CO2 would only require 1400 newly planted trees to offset their emissions compared to 6700 trees needed to offset current emissions.

CO2 Emission Comparison between the EV and the diesel-fuelled van fleet

THE SOUTHEAST SURPASSES ENERGY REDUCTION TARGETS AND SAVES €20M

TWO DECADES OF 3 Counties Energy Agency SUCCESS 

The County Councils of Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford working closely with 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), have not only met but all exceeded the 33% energy reduction target set in the National Climate Action Plan.  

3CEA was set up in 2002, and developed partnerships with the County Councils, SMEs, Communities and citizens making their Energy Transition journey smoother. 

“It is really making a difference. 3CEA technical support ensures that project opportunities are identified and acted upon promptly where practical. The 3 Counties Energy Agency worked with the Councils’ Energy Teams to deliver projects that will deliver ongoing long term sustained energy reduction in each case resulting in a cumulative saving of €19.97M. All three Local Authorities are participating in a number of EU energy-saving projects with the assistance of 3CEA,” says Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3CEA.

Energy efficiency remains a priority to deliver further improvements and the County Councils of Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford have been joined by Waterford city and County in 2021, all with the same mission of optimising their energy efficiency actions. 

“3CEA work in collaboration with the Local Authorities to evaluate, pilot and deliver great energy and carbon saving projects across their own building, public lighting & transport stock. The role of the Local Authorities to lead by example and good examples of this partnership are projects being delivered through various national grant programmes such as the Department of Environment, Climate & Communications Climate Action Fund and the SEAI’s Community Energy Grants. These are led by the Local Authorities, coordinated and managed by the Energy Agency, who are working with the many SME’s, communities and homeowners delivering projects right across the south east. This model of partnership is key to our success and to the success of the energy transition in the South East. The Local Authorities are playing their part and have met their own 2020 targets, with projects planned to ensure they meet the more ambitious 2030 targets. We, that is society as a whole, need to change our behaviour and reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels. Everyone must play a part and 3CEA are here, to offer independent advice to all who want to make a difference,” said Alex Hamilton, 3CEA Senior Engineer.

CARLOW INCREASED EFFICIENCY BY 40%

Carlow County Council achieved 40% improvement in energy efficiency by delivering 17 energy saving projects, for example in public lighting (with long lasting LED bulbs and photocell controls saving 29,000 euro per annum), zero energy housing, and a revamp of the Carlow Fire Station heating system and addition of solar panels.

In everyday terms this is the equivalent of making 140 million cups of tea, or 63000 journeys from Malin Head to Mizen Head, a carbon emission reduction of 7000 tons. Growing numbers of homeowners are availing of grants to carry out energy upgrades and deep retrofits and the county is now 39.9% more energy efficient, beating the 33.3% target.

KILKENNY SAVED ENOUGH ENERGY TO BREW 670 MILLION CUPPAS

Kilkenny County Council saved energy for 670 million cups of tea and 59000 trips the length of the country reducing emissions by 6500 tonnes. This produced a saving of 2.6 million euro for the Council, delivering a saving of 41.6%, well above the 33.3% target. Public Lighting is the single biggest user of energy for the Council and multiple upgrades, including in the Kilkenny Machinery Yard have been carried out. Heating reduction such as in Castlecomer Library contributed to the overall energy reduction.

YOU COULD LAP WEXFORD 43,000 TIMES WITH ENERGY SAVED

Wexford saved 269 million cups of tea or the amount of energy used by a typical family petrol car doing 43000 laps of the Wexford county boundary, reducing CO2 emissions by 2149 tonnes through avoided energy use, delivering a saving of 39.7%. The spectrum of projects and initiatives implemented by the Wexford County Council to achieve energy efficiency include the public lighting energy efficiency project whereby 91% of public lights across the county were replaced with more energy efficient LED bulbs. This gave a 65% reduction in energy use and 60% savings in operation and maintenance costs. Energy upgrades in Bunclody Fire Station, Gorey Library and the Council’s Machinery Yard all delivered substantial energy savings. The Council has also started transitioning their fleet to electric vehicles to further support the national policy and decarbonise local communities making them healthier and better places to live in.

 

3CEA CEO, Paddy Phelan added that “While local authorities in the region have done much to achieve lower C02 emissions by 2030, individual counties working under the Sustainable Energy Action Plans need to step up across Transport, Agriculture, Industry and Community.”

Mobile in May: How Sustainable Energy Communities can influence transport for the better

Walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing are just some ways we can make our journeys more sustainable, but how do we improve access and infrastructure within our communities?

Join us for the Mobile in May information event series were you can find out How Sustainable Energy Communities can influence transport for the better.

The programme for this event is:
Session 1: 3rd of May at 11 am – Travelling sustainably to school

Session 2: 10th of May at 11 am – Planning for better transport where you live

Session 3: 17th of May at 11 am – Travelling on four wheels: EVs, Local Link and Car Sharing

Session 4: 24th of May at 11 am – Putting together a transport strategy

Please register here
All session recordings will be made available for anyone who registers to attend.

 

Energy Upgrade Homeowner Experience: SEC Southeast Webinar Series

Hear from Ithel McKenna, a homeowner in County Waterford who over the past 40 years has taken on multiple energy efficiency projects in her home.

She couldn’t be happier with the energy savings and increased comfort in her home.
Her only regret…that she isn’t starting now with support from experts like 3cea.

This extract was taken from one of the recent SEC South East webinars in the 6 part series.

Watch the full webinar and others in the series in the YouTube playlist below

 

 

To receive expert advice and start to finish project management for energy upgrade projects, get in contact with us now.
https://3cea.ie/contact/

Information Session on Community Energy Grant Funding

 

This online session offers a unique opportunity for organisations to learn how to cut harmful emissions and make significant energy and bottom-line savings. It aims to support small businesses in the South East as we discuss funding opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. What makes a good grant application?  Who is eligible for funding? What measures are supported? Our experienced senior energy expert Alex Hamilton will provide helpful tips and what you need to do to be successful. 

This event is the first step for interested organisations and businesses to understand what it takes to apply for energy grant funding for your project and what supports are available to achieve such a project.

Register on Eventbrite

 

Online Event schedule:

1st Session: Wed, 23rd of February 2022 from 1-2pm

Repeat Session: Wed, 2nd of March 2022 from 3-4pm

Agenda

  • Communities Energy Grant Overview
  • Funding amounts
  • Energy Audits / Technical Reports
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Estimated Timelines
  • Documentation required
  • Project examples
  • Q&A

Target groups:

Businesses, SMEs, Farmers, Tidy Towns Groups, Co-operatives, Community Groups, Schools, Sports Clubs, Public Sector, Housing Associations and other groups are urged to attend the free information webinar as it is expected that the SEAI grant scheme will receive a high level of interest.

Grants are available through SEAI, who provide up to 50% funding for community projects, not for profits, charities, housing associations. And up to 30% funding for businesses, public sector, SMEs, industrial & commercial sector.

What’s involved?

Both online sessions are open to everyone with an interest in sustainability and community energy but will be of particular relevance to organisations and community groups looking to progress their identified energy projects.

3cea are accepting new grant applications for 2022 and we are urging people to get in touch with us now. In the south east region the SEAI grants & services are administered by the 3 Counties Energy Agency www.3cea.ie.

Register in advance for this event via this Eventbrite page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

SEAI Solar PV for Business Guide

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have published their latest guide on Solar PV to help your business understand solar PV technology and to support you to deliver a solar PV project. It explores the key areas of site suitability, as well as the technological and practical issues involved in a typical solar PV project.
This guide is a fantastic starting point for any business interested in adopting Solar as part of their energy supply.

Solar PV will play a pivotal role in the nation’s Climate Action commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions by 51% by 2030 and achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050.

The southeast receives more light energy from the sun than any other region, which means businesses in the southeast have the potential to generate more solar energy than other regions of the country.