Easter

Happy Easter!

10 ways to be sustainable this Easter weekend

Switch off!

Remember to turn the TV off after use. Leaving devices on standby wastes energy and can increase your electricity bills. A simple tip to reduce your energy consumption: if it’s not being used, switch it off. The same applies to lights, other household appliances and even your car. Switching off your car when you stop or pull over can reduce your carbon emissions, as leaving your engine idling can have an impact on your environment.

Open up your blinds

Opening up your blinds or curtains can brighten up your home. Use as much natural light as possible before switching on lights or lamps. Plus you can enjoy some more sunshine (while we have it!).

Turn down the heating

Try to keep your heating switched off for as long as possible. When you do get cold, try wearing an extra jumper or wrap up in a cosy blanket.

Recycle those Easter Eggs

After you’ve eaten all of your Easter eggs, you may be left with a lot of packaging. Remember to recycle the appropriate materials and correctly place them in the designated bin. Visit the EPA website for more recycling tips.

Get walking

Over this Easter weekend, swap in a walk instead of a drive when travelling within your 5km. Walking off the Easter eggs will benefit your health and wellbeing too.

Switch to reusable water bottle

When out and about, why not bring a reusable water bottle with you instead of buying single use plastic bottles. This is a simple change that anyone can make to live more sustainably.

Don’t forget your reusable grocery bags

Bring a reusable bag when you go shopping this weekend. Keep a few in the car or near the front door of your home so you don’t forget.

Buy your food locally

A shorter food chain can reduce waste before it reaches your home. Try buying your food this weekend from your local supermarket who supports food producers in your area.

Avoid food waste

Over the weekend, try to avoid food waste as much as possible. You can reduce your food waste by planning your meals in advance, saving your leftovers, and learning how to properly store food.

Spread the word

When speaking with friends and family this weekend, spread the word on your sustainable activities. Opening up the conversation on sustainability will help others to develop a new frame of mind. Setting an example for others can be both powerful and influential.

From all of us here at 3cea, we wish you and your family a very Happy Easter weekend!

Communities

Over 500 Communities engaging in SEAI Sustainable Energy Community Network

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) announced an increase in community groups joining their Sustainable Energy Communities Network.

SEAI recently reported that there has been higher engagement with their Sustainable Energy Communities Network as many new communities across Ireland have become Sustainable Energy Communities (SECs) this year.

Over 500 communities have become SEC members, with up to 25,000 citizens making a difference in their locality. Each of these SEC groups are progressing towards a low carbon future by implementing energy efficient measures in all aspects of the community, including their homes, shops, sports clubs and community buildings. Read more from SEAIs announcement here.

Of the 500 communities engaging in the SEC Programme, we at 3cea are delighted to see that over 60 of the communities are from the South East Region. Take a look at the SEC Map on the SEAI website to find your community.

For more information on community programmes and successful projects, visit: https://3cea.ie/sectors/community/

 

carlow Kilkenny Wexford energy performance

Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford on Track to Achieve 33% Energy Reduction Target by 2020

  • Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford County Councils are 30.8% more energy efficient than in 2009
  • The three counties avoided 22,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the decade 2009-2019

The recently published Annual Report on Public Sector Energy Efficiency Performance covering 2019 shows that the public sector was 29% more energy efficient and on course to achieve its 33% energy efficiency target in 2020, up from 27% the previous year. This is the third year of improved performance in a row, following the introduction of the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy in 2017. The 2019 Climate Action Plan has increased the level of ambition for the public sector for the period up to 2030 by establishing two new complementary targets, a 50% improvement in energy efficiency and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford County Councils have committed to effective energy management to making energy savings and playing their part in meeting the public sector energy efficiency targets by 2030. Local Authorities in Ireland Account for 11% of the total public sector energy consumption. Read more

Home Retrofit

3cea partner with ERI to provide home retrofit service for homeowners in the South East

3 Counties Energy Agency have partnered with ERI Managed Energy Solutions to deliver SEAI’s National Home Retrofit Scheme.

Homeowners in the South East of Ireland who wish to improve their home’s BER rating are being advised to apply for a new retrofit scheme which offers 35% grant aid.

Stephen Harte, Managing Director of ERI, offers his expertise on the new retrofitting scheme.

Stephen, the founder of ERI, has an Engineering qualification from University of Limerick with 30 years’ experience in the building and commercial sectors.

ERI specialises in helping homeowners with deep energy retrofits. Since starting in 2007, ERI  have carried out over 1,000 building energy assessments and consulted on hundreds of low energy construction projects.” 

In the last five years Stephen has spent three years as Project Manager for the deep retrofit scheme from its inception as a pilot in 2015 through to 2018. Stephen has also been involved in the management of over 150 end to end whole house retrofits in that time.

What is the National Home Retrofit Scheme?  Read more

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan discusses Microgeneration on Morning Ireland

3cea were asked to participate in a radio interview on microgeneration for the Morning Ireland show on RTE 1 Radio this morning.

The news piece featured on the show between 7 and 8am with a panel of speakers discussing the benefits to microgeneration.

The news piece included insights from Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, 3 Counties Energy Agency CEO Paddy Phelan, Tommy O’Shea of O’Shea Farms, Piltown Co. Kilkenny and Dara Lynott, CEO of the Electricity Association of Ireland.

Listen to the interview in full here.

 

 

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

Read more

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.