Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We look forward to working with all energy users in 2022!

Our office will close for the holiday from Friday the 24th December and reopen on Tuesday the 4th January.

For any queries over the holiday, please contact us via contact@3cea.ie

🎅

Have yourself a sustainable Christmas with these tips

We take a look at some ideas to make your Christmas more environmentally and pocket friendly. Here are our tips to help you make your festive season more sustainable:

Presents – make eco-friendly options when shopping for gifts. Why not consider gifting an experience and bring your loved ones together?
Shop local – by doing so, you will reduce your carbon footprint and support the local economy, which has to be good! Shop local from weekly markets, craft fairs and local producers.
Energy-efficient appliances – it does make a difference. Choosing energy efficient appliances will save you money on energy bills and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions in the long run.
Save energy while cooking – maximise your cooking efficiencies by using proper cookware, keep on the lids while cooking and match your burner and pot sizes to help decrease the energy use of your stove or hob. Plan ahead! Cook multiple dishes at once and prep before cooking to reduce energy use.
Find alternatives to wrapping paper – keep sustainability in mind and avoid wrapping paper that isn’t recyclable, be careful about what you choose and opt for green wrapping. The Journal – How to gift wrap without all the waste this Christmas.
Use solar powered LED lights – when it comes to sustainable decorations, LED lights are far better than traditional incandescent lights, because they use up to 80% less energy. For outdoor decorations, switch to solar powered lights and put both sets on a timer. Not only will your energy bills reduce but you will be kinder to the planet.
Live Christmas tree – If you choose a potted tree or a tree that still has the root ball intact, you will be able to replant it in your garden or balcony meaning that the tree can continue to exhale oxygen which slows down climate change. Irish Times – Not just for Christmas: Trees go to pot to ensure many festive returns.
Use smart controls and timers where possible – to switch on & off when not needed. When using battery powered lights, use rechargeable batteries.
Invest in a reusable advent calendar – a great environmentally friendly idea! Choose from reusable or recycled-wood options.
Remember the true meaning of Christmas – what is truly important during this time of the year? Is it the flashy gifts and excess food or is it spending time with your loved ones, reflecting on the year passed and being grateful for what we have.

Listen back to the recent Beat 102-103 podcast where 3cea’s Energy Engineer Gráinne Kennedy spoke to Dean Egan on how to be more sustainable in the run up to Christmas.

sustainable little Christmas

 

Ferrybank Allotment Project Set High Sustainability Standard

3cea, the Three Counties Energy Agency,  were delighted to sponsor an award at the inaugural Kilkenny Community and Voluntary awards, a collaboration between Kilkenny Volunteer Centre and Kilkenny PPN with support from Kilkenny County Council. They offer their congratulations to the winners of the Environment and Sustainability Category which is sponsored by 3cea – Ferrybank Allotment Project.

“The work done by Ferrybank Allotment Project is a model for groups to follow all over the country. They set a high standard from polytunnels to beehives, vegetables to flowers and with a wonderful design eye including their renovated water pump and the beautiful flower filled boat. Their work makes them worthy winners in the Environment and Sustainability category,” said Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea.

Read more

ENERGee Watch Course 4: Data display, dissemination, and validation by local authorities

ENERGee Watch Course 4 will cover how to identify the key factors that determine how to disseminate data (regulations, targets, usage, etc.). It will also cover how to identify key recipients and stakeholders, teaching mentees how to identify their needs and expectations, collect the data, and get it into the required format. Some methods and tools to represent and illustrate data patterns and messages in data (graphs, Sankey diagrams, maps, etc.) will also be covered in this course. Finally, how to efficiently disseminate this data and the subsequent messages (technical reports, newsletters, online tools, etc.) will be covered too.

The Target for Course 4: Data Display, Dissemination, and Validation by Local Authorities

This course aims to identify how to best communicate a dataset or to portray certain messages in the data. Throughout the course, we will treat the key topics necessary to ensure effective and complete communication of data and information. Some current challenges that this course could rectify include; a lack of interaction with recipients of datasets, the misunderstanding of datasets, difficulty in portraying messages that are in the data, a requirement for datasets to be communicated in a particular way, a need to find more innovative/representative data visualisation methods, or simply an interest to develop links with existing innovative tools.

Course Objectives

The objectives set for mentee learning before the course were as follows.

To know your audience and their ultimate needs
• To assess the best data display method for the objective,
• audience and desired response
• To manipulate data to suit different representation styles
• To understand the different data dissemination and display options available

Topics

ENERGee Watch Course 4 sought to achieve these objectives over 6 sessions held over 6 days across just over a month from October to November.

• Session 1: What determines effective Communication of data?
• Session 2: Identifying the information needs of end-users
• Session 3: Manipulating and Presenting data
• Session 4: Implementing data display tools
• Session 5: TerriSTORY®, a deeper insight
• Session 6: Data dissemination

Mentors

Thomas Knight is a project manager in the Territorial Intelligence and Observatory team at Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Energie Environnement(AURA-EE) since the beginning of 2020. Thomas is responsible for the quality and accuracy of the energy-related and economic calculations for the regional energy and climate data observatory (ORCAE) and is an active participant in the development of an online data tracking tool for the territories of the region; TerriSTORY®.

 

 

If you are interested in taking part in the next cycle of ENERGee Watch courses, the applications for the second cycle should open in January. Please note that currently these courses are only open to Local Authorities and Municipalities. You can find out when the ENERGee Watch applications open by keeping an eye on our social media and signing up to our newsletter.

ENERGee Watch Course 1 Data Collection (acquisition and treatment)

The ENERGee Watch courses began online back in September with Course 3 Indicators and Strategies on Adaptation to Climate Change. As the first cycle of courses come to an end we will reflect on the content of each course, its objectives, and the overall objectives of the ENERGee Watch Project. Course 3 information is available through the link above. Starting with Course 1 Data Collection (acquisition and treatment), this was one of four courses will take place across the three cycles of the ENERGee Watch programme. The ENERGee WATCH peer-to-peer learning programme aims to enable regional and local authorities to timely and accurately define, monitor, and verify their sustainable actions. The course material focused on regional/provincial authorities and their agencies. These groups are responsible for collecting and monitoring GHG reduction efforts and results. These groups were targeted to empower them to use best practices in their efforts. ENERGee Watch is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The programme will take place across three cycles. Each cycle has the same four courses and tutors and will contain a visit to the tutor’s country in future iterations should Covid restrictions allow. The content of the courses may change each year based on the feedback from the previous group in the previous cycle. Through this, the course can adapt to the needs of regional/local authorities. We are currently receiving feedback from the groups just finishing their courses in this iteration of the project.

We expect, by the end of the ENERGee Watch peer learning programme, regional and local authorities will have improved abilities and skills to collect energy and climate data, monitor said data, verify it, and then report the data for their sustainable energy action plans. We also hope that the peer-to-peer nature of the programme will foster future collaborations and partnerships.

Course 1: Data Collection (acquisition and treatment)

The overall aim of ENERGee WATCH is to launch a peer-to-peer learning program to enable regional and local authorities to timely and accurately define, monitor, and verify their sustainable actions. The learning process targets regional and/or provincial authorities and their agencies and observatories that are responsible for collecting and overseeing the monitoring of mitigation and adaptation indicators to empower them to make use of the best practices. Course 1 is broken into 4 sessions as follows:

  • Session 1: Baseline Emission Inventory
  • Session 2: Energy management
  • Session 3: Energy supply and production
  • Session 4: Transport

The handbook for ENERGee Watch Course 1 Data Collection is available for download here.

The target for Course 1 Data Collection

This course is aimed at professionals at the regional and local levels, that are responsible for energy data collection and would like to learn more on how to tackle challenges connected to gathering quality and comprehensive energy data. It is aimed at those who should or could play a key role in improving data sharing to accelerate the achievement of EU climate goals.

Mentors

Boštjan Krajnc, CEO of Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleska and Koroška Region (KSSENA), has 16years of work experience in the field of RES and RUE. In his professional career, Boštjan Krajnc has performed more than 50 trainings on energy management, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, financial mechanisms (ESCO), and on transferring EU Energy efficiency directives into national legislation.

3 Counties Energy Agency responds to Climate Action Plan

The publication of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2021 by Government last week was broadly welcomed by the stakeholders working to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and the resulting environmental damage that they cause.

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) are positively enthused by the continued effort and commitment to solving the most pressing problem facing civilisation with a particular focus on de-carbonising the Irish energy system. 3cea also welcome the continuing focus on enabling communities, seeing this as important to the future management of our energy provision and use. But they also urge some caution.

CAP 2019 included an annexe with 183 specified actions, each with a timeline and specification of who was responsible for implementing the change. CAP 2021 lists 475 required actions. Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea, notes an important change.

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan on the ‘The Way It Is Show’ with Sue Nunn on KCLR:

Read more

Kilkenny Community and Voluntary Awards – 3cea delighted to sponsor the Environmental and Sustainability Category

The Kilkenny Community and Voluntary awards will take place on 2nd December 2021 and is a collaborative effort between Kilkenny Volunteer Centre and Kilkenny PPN with support from Kilkenny County Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The aim of the awards is to recognise the commitment of the countless community and voluntary groups across Co. Kilkenny and the volunteers who work tirelessly to provide services to the old, the young, the isolated, the lonely, and the vulnerable in our community.

The awards will celebrate the vibrancy of the community and voluntary sector in Kilkenny and recognise the contribution that volunteers make to the fabric of our county.

Nominations are now open, and the people of Kilkenny are being called upon to nominate community groups and local volunteer heroes who are making a real difference on the ground.

Community groups across Co. Kilkenny can be nominated under the following categories:

  1. Arts, Culture and Heritage
  2. Community and Civic Pride
  3. Social Enterprise
  4. Environment
  5. Health and Social Wellbeing
  6. Social Inclusion
  7. Covid 19 Group Support

All shortlisted nominees will be invited to attend the awards ceremony in Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel on 2nd December and the winners of each category will receive a unique trophydesigned by celebrated craftsperson Eimear Conyardand prize of €500 sponsored by generous local business owners.

We also have a special award on the night called the Covid 19 Local Volunteer Hero Award.

For outstanding work by an Individual in the Community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

We’re Hiring!

Exciting job opportunities in Kilkenny! Closing date for all applications is Friday the 12th November 2021 at 5pm. Join our growing team and apply via 3cea.ie/careers

New Date Confirmed! Free webinar to highlight local opportunities for renewable energy projects

Organisers have now confirmed a new date, the new event date is scheduled on Thursday, 2nd December 2021 at 9:30-11:30.

More communities than ever before are coming together to develop renewable energy projects in their own localities, according to a Kilkenny-based energy engineer. A recent study conducted by Mullan Grid Consulting, for 3cea with funding from Kilkenny Leader Partnership, highlights the electricity grid’s capacity for renewable energy projects in County Kilkenny.

Register here: https://webinar-on-the-kilkenny-grid-study-findings.eventbrite.ie

Agenda

• 9:30am – Part 1 – Introduction

• 9:40am – Grid Study Findings

• 10:20am – Q&A

• 10:30am – Break

• 10:45am – Part 2 – Introduction

• 10:50am – Community Renewable Project

• 11:30am – Q&A

• 11:45am – End

After registering, you will receive further information from the team about joining the Event.

The event will be hosted on Zoom.

If you would like to be updated on when that event will be please email events@3cea.ie

 


 

The first session, hosted by Rory Mullan of electrical engineering consultancy Mullan Grid Consulting, will discuss the findings of a recent grid study carried out in the Kilkenny area. All energy produced by a renewable energy project must be transported via the grid to homes and businesses across the country. For a community renewable energy project to be feasible, there must be capacity available in the grid to take the energy produced. This session will help attendees to identify if there is an opportunity to connect to the grid in their area. They can also see where the ideal location for a renewable energy project would be.

Part two of the webinar will be presented by Tom Bruton, of BioXl, an energy consultancy with expertise in renewable energy. It will look at the key steps and considerations a community must take in the development of a renewable energy project, such as securing land rights, constraint mapping, planning assessments and submission, grid application submission, payment milestones, qualifying and tendering for auction, preparing legal structures and community investment proposals.

Gráinne Kennedy of independent energy agency 3cea (3 Counties Energy Agency) said that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation has experienced one of its busiest years on record in terms of the growing number of community groups that they are working with to reduce energy costs and cut down on harmful carbon emissions:

“What we have particularly noticed is a dramatic increase in community groups and organisations who are actively seeking information on how to undertake energy efficiency retrofits – be they community centres, sports clubs, parish committees, childcare centres, community health organisations such as organisations that provide accommodation and supports to the elderly, national schools …. the list is growing by the week.

“It’s a win-win situation for these groups and organisations. Through the SEAI Sustainable Energy Community programme that 3cea delivers, they’re supported with capital funding, partnerships and technical support on energy saving projects. And now, with the introduction of the government’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme, communities can set up their own solar farm or wind farm and sell that power to the national grid. Given that so many communities are taking an interest in their carbon footprint, the demand for information about community renewable energy projects has never been greater.”

To meet this demand, 3cea with the support of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership has organised a two-part online webinar aimed specifically at community groups in Kilkenny who are interested in developing a renewable energy project. The event takes place at 9.30am and 10.45am on Tuesday, June 22 through Zoom and community groups and representatives can register for this FREE online webinar at http://3cea.ie/event/

For more information on 3cea’s range of community programmes, visit: https://3cea.ie/sectors/community/

The Kilkenny Grid Study is available here for communities who wish to see the potential in their area for a renewable energy project.

To learn more about our community group projects, visit our communities page here.

Duncan Stewart keeps an eco-eye on Kilkenny

Duncan Stewart keeps an eco-eye on Kilkenny – Booking now open for the free Green for Micro conference

Irish environmentalist Duncan Stewart, well-known as the host of RTÉ’s Eco Eye since 2002, will offer his expertise and guidance to businesses across Kilkenny. Exclusively available to businesses in the South East, enterprises are invited to attend the free Green for Micro conference on Friday 15th October at 9.30 am, hosted online via Zoom. To register visit: www.localenterprise.ie/Kilkenny

The Green for Micro conference offers a unique opportunity 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 and break down environmental and sustainability challenges for their business.

Keynote speaker, Duncan Stewart, will share his insights on how vital it is for businesses to address environmental issues within their business and how this will ensure the sustainability of small enterprises into the future. Expert speakers from 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) and the Southern Region Waste Management office will share useful tips on how to make simple changes, for example, how to manage waste in your business and how to access funding support for greener practises. The panel of speakers will demonstrate how investing time and resources in green issues will ultimately benefit small businesses.

The programme will begin with an introduction and welcome from Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny. She commented, “We want to encourage small businesses to learn more about how they can help Ireland move toward a greener net-zero economy. Beyond that, sustainable decisions make financial sense. We hope people will join us on October 15th to find out more.”

Grainne Kennedy, Energy Engineer, 3cea said, “Even the smallest change in a businesses’ consciousness and tweaks to its manufacturing processes can make a big difference. Any business of any size can have a profound effect on the environment. We’re looking forward to telling people about the South East Green for Micro programme and how they can access funding to start their green journey today.”

Led by the Local Enterprise Offices in the South East, in partnership with 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea), the South East Green for Micro programme was launched in April 2019, funded by Enterprise Ireland to assist local businesses with their low carbon transition.  3cea, an independent, not-for-profit energy agency, offered technical assistance for the project, helping participating enterprises examine their energy, waste, water, procurement and transport needs and make more informed, environmentally-friendly choices.

 

For more information about energy grants available in the South East, visit www.3cea.ie. To learn more about the Green for Micro conference on Friday 15th October at 9.30 am, hosted online, visit: www.localenterprise.ie/kilkenny