500 Additional Fleet Vehicles Sought for Government Funded Greener HGV Programme

Energy and telematics experts are reaching out to fleet companies nationwide and encouraging them to get involved in the grant-aided Greener HGV programme designed to help them cut harmful emissions and save up to 10% on soaring fuel bills.

A 30% technology software and hardware grant is available to Irish fleet companies who sign up for the landmark Government-funded initiative. It aims to fit 1,000 fleet vehicles across Ireland with smart telematics. Further details on how to apply are available at https://www.greenerhgv.ie/

Over 500 vehicles have been signed up for the €1.4 million Climate Action Fund Greener HGV Programme launched in Summer of last year. Of these, 300 are in the oil distribution business. Telematics company Cubo has partnered with 3cea to deliver the programme on behalf of the Irish Government as part of their target for Project Ireland 2040.

Twelve fleet companies were involved in the Transport Telematics & Driver Training Pilot Project which preceded the Greener HGV programme. It included the installation of telematics on 326 vehicles across all fleets, and delivery of eco-driving training for the 371 fleet drivers. It achieved an 11% saving on energy consumption.

In real terms,  the saving of 1989 tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to removing 975 cars from our roads for a year.  Annual savings of over €2,900 were achieved per truck when fuel prices were significantly lower than they are today.

Paddy Phelan, 3cea CEO, said: “Under ‘The Greener HGV Programme’ the transport sector will reduce fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles by driving smarter and by embracing new technologies. The results from our initial test cases show that the benefits and cost savings are clear. And with fuel costs continuing to increase, savings will also increase.

“Every fleet company in the country will benefit from this cost and emissions-saving exercise. We have already fitted 249 HGVs with telematic equipment. Any fleet company that is interested in saving fuel and reducing their CO2 emissions needs to act now as  the scheme is proving to be extremely popular,” he added.

East Cork Oil’s 186 vehicles are all signed up and the company is among 13, with fleet sizes ranging from 5 to almost 200, to get involved so far.  John O’Callaghan, Senior Cost Accountant at East Cork Oil said: “We have a very dynamic operation, when you run a fleet of almost 200 vehicles it makes sense to introduce technology that can take over some of those more mundane and time-consuming tasks.

“The ease of accessing camera footage was a huge benefit to us, as well as the obvious environmental improvements from being able to measure – and make steps to reduce – our carbon footprint.  We previously used multiple systems for tracking, monitoring fuel usage, downloading the driver’s cards and tachographs and were in the market for cameras.

“It was an obvious choice to move to a supplier that could meet all our requirements on one platform – with the added incentive of the 30% government grant,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Bryan Hynes, Distribution Manager at DCC Oil Group, said the programme meets several of their future needs. “DCC Oil Group were in the process of merging 3 oil companies – Jones Oils, Campus Oils and Emo Oils.  We were looking for a complete transport solution to manage the newly merged large fleet, and we were interested in live camera technology.

“The time was right to find a system that ticked all the boxes – which the Cubo solution does.  For DCC, one of its main attractions is the ability to remotely download our tachographs which means we don’t need our drivers to return to base, saving time, fuel, and emissions – before our drivers even get to the professional driver training.   We are committed to developing a conscious driving culture which will undoubtedly result in a reduction of our carbon footprint and fuel costs.”

Robert Steele from Cubo said: “We are delighted with how popular the scheme has been and would urge companies who want to save fuel and reduce their CO2 emissions to apply as soon as possible.   We have funding for 1,000 vehicles and have already assigned 50% of that.”

To avail of the 30 per cent technology software and hardware grant, applicants can apply now on www.greenerhgv.ie Smart telematics employed include tracking, fuel, remote tachograph downloads and compliance software, live footage cameras and driver awareness panels. All are part of the technology that will be used to deliver sustainable measures.

Existing participants are now at the driver training stage, which is currently being delivered online, via an app. This facilitates companies struggling to meet additional pressures the industry is facing around Covid-19 and driver shortages. Cubo and 3CEA have welcomed the positive feedback from the first cohort of participants.

Housing 4.0E Conference Comes to a Close

The Housing 4.0E conference was hosted in late May 2021. This conference joined the Floriade Expo in Almere, Netherlands. This was a fitting setting for the event given the theme of the Floriade Expo being ‘Growing Green Cities’. It featured guest speakers from our partner organisations as well as industry experts and shared insights the pilots have yielded thus far. The conference was set up to inspire attendees and highlight the accomplishments of the project thus far. It featured keynote speakers, debates, and practical workshops.

The event was opened by Ank Bijleveld (NL), Mayor of Almere, and hosted by Natasja van den Berg (NL), an expert in citizen participation and sustainability. The keynote speakers included (click for presentations):

The two debates held across the two-day conference covered; “What are the major lessons learned with the pilots and what needs to be done with it?” and “How to Scale-up and Innovate in the Building Industry”. These debates were a mixture of H4.0E ambassadors, partners, and stakeholders.

The Floriade Expo is a world horticultural exhibition that takes place in the Netherlands once a decade. This iteration is taking place in Almere and runs from 14th April 2022 to 9th October 2022. The theme for the expo this year is ‘Growing Green Cities’ in collaboration with national and international participants at the Expo. Floriade’s theme Growing Green Cities presents the creative, green, sustainable solutions required to make this a reality. This theme is more important than ever as by 2050, some 68% of the global population will live in cities on a mere 2% of the earth’s surface area.

Some Highlights From The Conference

“Enter the arena” and “Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground” were some of the calls to action that were made by Jan Rotmans at the H40E conference.

 

Presentation of The Guidebook by Ivar Diekerhof.

 

Joke Dufourmont shows the advantages and processes of building homes from sustainably grown timber.

 

“Being an Ambassador is about Connection” Marion Jammet, Chris Troniseck, and Nathan Van der Bossche take part in the Ambassadors Debate. The debate discussed the major lessons learned with the pilots and what needs to be done with it?”

 

Ralf Kampe leads one of the breakout rooms during the conference where he presented the Low Carbon Fabric First Approach.

 

Alastair Parvin from Open Systems Lab opens day 2 of the Conference. Alastair i presented the Platform in development as part of the H4.0E project which will allow individuals to design their own NZEB and ZEB houses.

 

Debate between H4.0E partners, ambassadors, and stakeholders on ‘How to Scale-up and Innovate in the Building Industry’.

 

“Scale, speed, quality, affordability, and low energy – How do we do it?” Ireland needs 30,000 houses in 5 years. 3cea senior engineer and Chair of Association Irish Energy Agencies, Alexandra Hamilton, discusses how do we get there while keeping emissions low and quality high.

 

Architect and Irish TV producer, Duncan Stewart closes the Housing 4.0E Conference recapping some of the lessons from the speakers and having a discussion with attendees.

 

Sustainable Energy Communities & Wexford County Council Workshop 2022

On Friday 10th of June, 3cea had the pleasure of attending a workshop between Wexford County Council and Sustainable Energy Communities in Wexford County. The workshop was designed by both the SEC Programme and Wexford County Council with the overall goal of creating a framework for cooperation and collaboration between Wexford County Council (WCC) and the Communities for the development and achievement of community projects and goals.

Sustainability is about so much more than carbon emissions, rising sea levels and soaring energy costs. It’s about community welfare, inclusion and creating opportunities for communities to thrive socially and economically. Both the SEC Programme and WCC recognise this and the important role that each Community plays as we transition to a more sustainable way of living.

Start your sustainable community journey and join the SEC network today: https://3cea.ie/sectors/community/

The South East SEC Team Day – Putting smiley faces and ticks on a new strategy

There’s a lot to look forward to over the next year.

The SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities programme has grown at an incredible rate even through Covid-19 with the number of communities in the Southeast growing from 50 communities in 2019 to 71 today.

All of these communities are working towards reducing their carbon footprint with the help of their County Mentor and Regional Coordinator with a lot of this work being done remotely or our in the communities themselves.

Monday the 16th of May was the first time since 2020 when all four County Mentors – Marina De Costa Carlow, Therese Curran Kilkenny, Yvonne Byrne Waterford and Fiona O’Loughlin, got to meet in-person with Gráinne Kennedy of 3cea the Regional Coordinator.

The purpose of the day was to come up with a strategy for how best we can support our communities for the next year. Everything was discussed from each county’s successes to the projects that can be prioritised to the skills that communities need to be resilient and to engage successfully with everyone in their community. We have come away with many actions to work on and with solidarity that together we give our communities what they need to transition to a sustainable energy future.

Start your sustainable community journey and join the SEC network today: https://3cea.ie/sectors/community/ 

Waterford Grid Study Finds Potential for Renewable Energy Projects

A recent study conducted by Mullan Grid Consulting, for 3cea with funding from Waterford Leader Partnership, highlights the electricity grid’s capacity for renewable energy projects in County Waterford.

With many substations located around the county, Waterford communities have access to connect to the grid. Renewable energy projects which may be suitable for local communities include wind farms and solar farms. Both developments would need to securely connect to the grid for sufficient use. This study was conducted to see what capacity is available in County Waterford prior to planning a renewable energy project in our local communities.

Under the Renewable Energy Support Scheme communities can develop their own renewable energy project of between 0.5 and 5 MW. The biggest barrier to developing any renewable energy project is grid capacity. 3cea applied for Leader funding to carry out a study on where the best sites for community renewable energy projects might be based on the grid capacity. The study was completed by Mullan Grid.

The Waterford 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.

3CEA gains Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employer status

Press Release

The 3 Counties Energy Agency is celebrating after gaining Engineers Ireland accreditation for its commitment to the continuous professional development (CPD) of its 23-strong staff which includes Engineers, Technicians, Marketing and Administrative employees.

The 20 year-old Agency is now an Engineers Ireland continuous professional development (CPD) Accredited Employer and part of an exclusive network of organisations that have demonstrated commitment to the professional development of their staff. The much-coveted best practice framework accreditation will help the agency to recruit and retain talented staff and win projects.

The not-for-profit 3cea has worked tirelessly across the southeast since its inception in 2002 to move the region to a low carbon, clean energy future. It has grown its team over that time from just three to 23 employees.

3cea works with communities, local authorities, businesses and the general public across counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and further afield in the renewable energy sector. The highly-regarded and highly skilled team at 3cea is constantly researching and upskilling, expanding its knowledge in energy saving, energy storage and production.

Paddy Phelan, 3cea CEO, paid tribute to the entire team, particularly those who worked on achieving Engineers Ireland’s CPD Accredited Employer Standard and said: “Continued professional development is essential for 3cea. We work in an a rapidly changing industry with new technologies, new standards, new requirements coming to market all the time. We work hard to ensure our entire team is prepared for all of these challenges. Providing a good CPD offering provides exciting opportunities for our team to develop and grow.

 

From left, are: Paddy Phelan (CEO 3cea), Colm 0’Mahony (Energy Engineer), Caroline Spillane (Director General – Engineers Ireland), Michael Deen (Communications Officer), Ralf Kampe (Eu Project Officer), John Carley (Chairman 3cea) and Bill Lowe (Office Manager) Photo Vicky Comerford

“We are committed to career development and to helping meet acute skills shortages within our sector world-wide. With this in mind, we offer work placement and graduate opportunities to third level students in this region. Many of these undergraduates have gone on to join our team over the years,” Mr Phelan said.

Congratulating 3cea on achieving Engineers Ireland’s CPD Accredited Employer Standard, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “I would like to congratulate 3cea for their dedication to professional development and achieving CPD Accredited Employer status. It is clear that 3cea has a strong commitment to supporting the professional growth of its staff and the organisation has successfully created a culture of innovation where creative thinking is encouraged and supported.

“Investment in professional development is essential for organisations to grow and develop their people. This investment ensures career progression and success for employees’ while also ensuring continued growth and market success.  Having experienced rapid growth in the South-East, I believe 3cea will continue to benefit significantly from the strategic approach facilitated by the CPD Accredited Employer Standard,” Ms Spillane added.

Gráinne Kennedy, Energy Engineer with 3cea, led the accreditation bid and commented: “Over a quarter of our team are Engineers Ireland affiliated and more are to join throughout the year. Others are working toward Chartered Engineer status. 3cea has a very strong policy that supports employees who want to extend their knowledge and join professional organisations. Such an ethos drives continuous professional development and augurs well for the future of 3cea and the energy transition across the South-East region into the future.”

Explore a career with us

If you think you are the right person to help reshape the energy landscape future, send your CV and a cover letter to Bill at blowe@3cea.ie explaining more about yourself and your ambitions, visit www.3cea.ie/careers

About Engineers Ireland’s CPD Accredited Employer Standard

The Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employer standard is a strategic framework which enables engineers and engineering employers to raise competency levels and deliver tangible business benefits by investing in engineers through continuing professional development. For more information, visit: http://www.engineersireland.ie/cpd-training/cpd-accredited-employer-scheme.aspx

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

 

Going Green for Business : Waterford Chamber

As part of Waterford Chambers ‘Green Month’ in May, 3CEA took part in the Going Green for Business event. Grainne Kennedy, Energy Engineer for 3cea presented on the funding opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for businesses, communities and homeowners in the Waterford area.

Mobile in May: Sustainable Energy Communities Webinar Series

It’s all about making your community a better place to be and live!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Sustainable Energy Communities Mobile in May webinar series, where we looked at:
🚴Travelling sustainably to school
🚧Planning for better transport where you live
🚌Travelling on four wheels: EVs, Local Link and Car Sharing

Don’t worry if you missed out, you can catch up on our YouTube channel playlist below

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.