Register Now for an Information Session on Energy Grants and Supports

Join us online on the 21st September from 1-2pm 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 highly experienced senior energy expert Alex will provide helpful tips and what you need to do to be successful. She will be covering everything from preparing for your application to best practice advice!

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.

Ask the Expert

3cea’s Energy Engineer & Expert Alex Hamilton will provide helpful tips on how to access the funding for your energy project and what you need to do to be successful. Alex will take you through the grant application process in detail, the criteria and timelines and how to maximise the return on your investment.

What’s involved?

This one-hour Zoom session will run on the 21st of September from 1pm-2pm and is 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.

The SEAI’s Better Energy Communities programme will be soon open for grant applications and we are urging applicants to get in touch with us now for the upcoming funding call. In the south east region the SEAI grant application is administered by the 3 Counties Energy Agency www.3cea.ie.

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. This session will offer a chance for all attendee’s to

• Understand the SEAI Grant process and what’s involved

• Ask the expert to gather feedback

• Meet the 3cea team project managing your energy project

How to register?

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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.

What is SEAI’s Better Energy Communities Grant?

Better Energy Communities (BEC) is a national retrofit initiative managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). BEC offers a win-win grant aid solution for businesses, SMEs, parish halls, GAA clubs, hotels, farmers, charitable organisations, community groups, Tidy Towns Groups, public authorities, individuals and sports clubs to both lower their energy bills while reducing energy usage.

The SEAI’s Better Energy Communities programme will be soon open for grant applications and we are accepting applicants for the upcoming funding call. In the south east region the SEAI grant application process is administered by the 3 Counties Energy Agency www.3cea.ie.

How 3cea can help?

• 3cea team are well experience in writing successful grant applications that have tight deadlines and require a high level of technical information and paperwork.

• Our team of energy experts will help you manage the complex parts of the grant application and will be here to take your through the process from start to finish.

• Our mission is to act on your behalf to provide you with the resource, expertise and knowledge to help move your energy efficiency projects forward in the south east region.

• Our aim is to make energy efficiency improvements as simple as possible, to help you save money on energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. The quickest and most simplest way of reducing harmful emissions is investing in energy efficiency.

• Over the past 8 years, we’ve been successful in securing energy grant funding across all sectors. We have assisted in the delivery of cumulative energy savings of more than €19.6 million through the Communities Energy Grant (BEC) initiative.

For any further information contact Mari or Patrick at events@3cea.ie or 056 779 0856.

Get in contact with our team on https://3cea.ie/bec-contact/ or email us at bec@3cea.ie indicating your interest and we will be in touch.

3cea Announce Our New H4.0E Ambassador

We are delighted to announce our new H4.0E Ambassador, Marion Jammet from the Irish Green Building Council. Marion has been an integral supporter of H4.0E since its beginning and will now continue in that capacity as an Ambassador. Marion will come on to the project as a Non-Technical Ambassador

Marion Jammet is the Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Irish Green Building Council. In her current role, she is responsible for developing a roadmap to address whole-life carbon in the built environment in Ireland – #BuildingLife campaign. She is also managing several programmes relating to energy renovation, including the H2020 Build Upon 2 project. Marion’s working background is in stakeholder engagement, policy development, and project management, with previous roles in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Eurochambres and the European Parliament. Marion holds an MSc in environmental sustainability from University College Dublin and a MA in European Affairs from Sciences-Po (France).

The Irish Green Building Council – IGBC, is a non-profit organisation that was launched in 2011 with organisations and businesses from the entire value chain of the built environment. Its members include universities, professional institutes, NGOs local authorities, contractors, architects, engineers, energy companies, leading national and transnational companies. 3cea is a member of the IGBC. All the members of the IGBC share the common goal of accelerating the transformation of the built environment, related industry, and supply chain to one that is sustainable through leadership, research, education, and providing policy input to national and local government.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce Portraits

“We cannot reach carbon neutrality without addressing the emissions associated with our homes. These include the emissions associated with lighting, heating and cooling, but also those linked to the production of materials and construction of new homes. I am thrilled to support a holistic programme such as Housing 4.0 Energy which through innovation try to address two of the most pressing challenges facing Ireland: the housing crisis and climate emergency.”

Marion Jammet

The H4.0E Ambassador Programme is an integral part of the long-term goals for the project. Ambassadors will help ensure the adoption of the H4.0E approach for future delivery and will engage with the project throughout the project’s lifetime and beyond. Our hope is that Ambassadors will be able to leverage H4.0E policy recommendations and traction amongst the industry and will help lead a change in the industry.

To read more on the Interreg NWE Housing 4.0E Project see our dedicated webpage here.

The Greener HGV Programme saves up to €17,000 in five years

3 Counties Energy Agency has partnered with Corcra Ltd to launch The Greener HGV Programme. Having secured €1.4M funding under the Governments Climate Action Fund, The Greener HGV Programme will see 1,000 fleet vehicles across Ireland fitted with innovative technology which will enable drivers to reduce carbon emissions and save fleet companies approximately 10 per cent of their annual fuel costs. The Climate Action Fund is a Project Ireland 2040 investment fund.

3cea’s pilot project indicated a potential saving of €17,000 per vehicle over five years based on an investment of €2,800* per vehicle. A previous trial resulted in savings of 1,766.79 tonnes of CO2, like removing 866 cars from our roads for one year. The participating fleet companies saw an increase in fuel efficiency arising from the reduction in over-revving, harsh braking, and engine idling time by the drivers, leading to a significant reduction in energy consumption.

The Greener HGV Programme will run for two years. 3cea is coordinating the subsidy grant available for Irish fleet companies to install the innovative technology and providing driver efficiency training. Data collected from the newly installed tech coupled with the development of a conscious driving culture of HGVs will result in a reduction of the business’s carbon footprint and fuel costs. Irish fleet companies can apply to this program via www.greenerhgv.ie to avail of a 30 per cent technology software and hardware grant.

We would like to thank the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications for the Project Ireland 2040 funding and making it possible.

Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea explains,

“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. Over two years with our partners Corcra, telematic equipment will be installed in over 1,000 HGV vehicles. With technology, and training to improve driver efficiency, the scheme is expected to deliver a significant reduction in CO2 and an average of 10 per cent fuel saving for participating fleet companies.”

Smart telematics including tracking, fuel, remote tachograph downloads and compliance software, live footage cameras and driver awareness panels are all part of the technology that will be used to deliver these sustainable measures. 3cea has partnered with Corcra, a leading Irish fleet communications company for The Greener HGV Programme.

Robert Steele, Ireland & UK Sales Manager from Corcra explains, 

“We use the hardware to gather real-time data which allows us to record baseline driver and vehicle information. After approximately six weeks, the data is analysed and we arrange the professional driver training and activate the in-cab Driver Awareness Panel, which is a driver aid. The new technology with gained knowledge from the driver training helps drivers to achieve more efficient driving and long-term sustainable energy practices.

Techniques that reduce engine revolutions can have a major impact on the vehicles’ fuel consumption and therefore its CO2 emissions. The project received final approvals in April and to date, we have fitted and commenced baseline data gathering on around 100 HGV’s. We expect to see increases in miles per gallon and reduction in fuel costs following the professional driver training that we offer.” 

A case study carried out by Corcra using similar conditions to the Greener HGV Project between January 2017 and September 2020 revealed the following results.2

  • MPG (Miles per Gallon) – Improved from 7.75MPG to 8.95MPG
  • A 15.4% increase in performance/ MPG
  • Saving of 658,365 litres of road diesel across 60 vehicles.
  • Emissions saving of 1,766.79 Tonnes of CO2. The equivalent of removing 866 cars from our roads for a year.3

“Every fleet vehicle in the country will benefit from this cost and emissions saving exercise. We have funding for 1,000 vehicles and have already fitted 100 HGVs with telematic equipment. Any fleet company that is interested in saving fuel and reducing their CO2 emissions needs to act now as we anticipate this scheme will be extremely popular.” Concluded Paddy Phelan of 3cea.

 

The Greener HGV Programme is funded by Project Ireland 2040, the government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. See: https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/09022006-project-ireland-2040/ for more.

Check out our case studies here and find out how we aim to make the transport sector more sustainable.


Some terms apply, see below for more.


How does it work? Click here to download the greener HGV programme booklet

Old Leighlin lead the way to mapping a plan to be part of the climate action programme

The All of Government Climate Action Plan aims to expand the SEC Network to 1500 communities all over Ireland receiving support to plan for a sustainable energy future.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Old Leighlin have done it again. Like they always do. Securing hard fought national grant aid to become Carlow’s first community with the first completed Energy Masterplan in County Carlow.

Old Leighlin is a beautiful place, standing on raised ground overlooking rolling hills and valleys with spectacular vistas.

Following several workshops, and community consultations, the community of Old Leighlin came together and held a public information meeting which was very well attended.  The local community group knew they were on to something. The positive energy in the room was evident and with that a clear vision emerged from the meeting – to establish Old Leighlin as an energy efficient community. The local community group, brimming with drive and dedication, worked in collaboration with Carlow County Development Partnership CLG, and with assistance from us 3cea, and Planenergy Consulting, to complete an Energy Masterplan with grant aid of €10,000 received from SEAI.

Following on from initiating and progressing the Energy Master Plan for the village, Old Leighlin explored different ways in which they could enhance and preserve its beautiful landscape to continue to maintain its natural ambience in a sustainable manner.

Old Leighlin are continuously looking to improve and explore innovative ways to address climate change and make a difference to all the community. Their interest in promoting Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation and Quality, and Biodiversity, are all fundamental essentials that the community believe are the tools needed to preserve ancient Old Leighlin while embracing modern Old Leighlin.

With constant support from Carlow County Development Partnership, Old Leighlin Community Hall and Old Leighlin Tidy Towns were able to access expertise and know-how to reflect on the value of what was present in their village and learn how to protect Old Leighlin and their natural resources into the future.

The Energy Master plan surveys and documents the community’s energy consumption and will also highlight buildings and areas where alterations and improvements can be made to upgrade energy efficiency reduce carbon emissions and reduce consumption in the community. This will enable members to carry out necessary upgrades, where possible thereby, reducing their energy bills, and afford a more comfortable and sustainable living.

Representatives from Old Leighlin stated that the support received from Carlow County Development Partnership made a complicated process much easier. Alice, a committee member from Old Leighlin said ‘we are really delighted to have got this far. The support from the community and from Carlow Development, at each and every step made the difference.  They supported and enabled us to focus on the next step rather than get overwhelmed by the whole project, which still seems enormous to us. I have to say that while the detail required for the application worried people within the community at the start, bit by bit we found the confidence to keep going’. She further commented on the Water conservation and Biodiversity training programme which were also facilitated by Carlow Development through LEADER funding.

Speaking to the Nationalist, Marina DeCosta of Carlow Development extended her congratulations to the community of Old Leighlin and added ‘the journey was long and hard. Sometimes it felt we would have to take a step back, particularly in light of the complications and hurdles that were created due to COVID. However, the resilience and determination of the committee along with partners 3cea and Planenergy overcame a multitude of barriers. Old Leighlin can proudly take ownership of the very first EMP to be launched in County Carlow.

Read more

Kilkenny Grid Study

Kilkenny Grid Study finds potential for renewable energy projects

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.

We recently held an online information event for communities across County Kilkenny to learn of the potential for renewable energy in their area. With many substations located around the county, Kilkenny 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 Kilkenny prior to planning a renewable energy project in our local communities.

Community members were invited to attend the event where Rory Mullan of Mullan Grid described the key takeaways from the study and was on hand to answer any questions the attendees may have had. Following Rory’s presentation, our second speaker, Tom Bruton of  Bio XL, spoke of the legislation around renewable energy projects for community groups. Tom gave insights into the timelines and costs involved in such a development, while providing practical examples of other similar community projects.

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

The event will be held again in the Autumn for communities in Kilkenny who could not make the first event. For those interested in joining this event, please get in touch with us at contact@3cea.ie.

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

Eddie's Home

Eddie’s home transformation features in The Sunday Times

Eddie Brennan of Wexford Town upgraded his 1930s bungalow with 3cea in 2019. 

We were delighted to see Eddie’s home energy upgrade story featured in The Sunday Times over the weekend. The article was published by Arlene Harris, who met Eddie and his partner Mary, to gain their insights after achieving such a major home improvement project.

Eddie’s bungalow was in very poor condition prior to the renovation works, with a BER of G, the lowest rating on the BER scale. Eddie continues to describe the process of his project and outlines the different upgrade measures he installed in his new and improved home. You can visit The Sunday Times piece here to read the story in full.

For more information on Eddie’s upgrade project, visit our own interview here, where Eddie lists each of the measures he chose and how these installations transformed his home life.

Home Energy Upgrade Journey

Homeowner Journey

We at 3cea offer homeowners a One Stop Shop service. We will guide homeowners every step of the way, from our initial home assessment right through to the completion of the project. We are listed as a trusted, project coordinator to deliver SEAI‘s National Home Retrofit Scheme and we can apply on behalf of the homeowner for grant funding of up to 35%.

To learn more about starting your journey towards a warmer, comfortable home, visit our Home Energy Upgrade – One Stop Shop.

If you are interested in taking the first step on the journey, you can fill in this form with your home’s details and a member of our Housing Team will be in touch.

State of the Art Report on Storage Technologies, Opportunities and Trends

Are you a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) operating in the energy storage market? Get expert insights with the STEPS NWE State-of-the-Art Report on Storage Technologies, Opportunities and Trends. As part of the EU-funded STEPS project, renowned organisations investigated the current state of medium-capacity energy storage (e-storage) and the e-storage industries based in North-West Europe (NWE). The overview helps SMEs striving to establish their position in the competitive e-storage market by defining the landscape and highlighting its opportunities and trends. With this publication, SMEs can make informed decisions to seize their opportunities and boost their products.

The report covers information on e-storage products and installations in the medium capacity range, which is defined between 5 kWh and 2 MWh, and classifies different energy storage technologies e.g. chemical, electrical and electrochemical. Furthermore, it describes the different applications such as home energy storage systems in combination with photovoltaic electricity generation for households, grid-scale installations for industrial use and utilities and electromobility for private as well as public transportation. Current technological developments focus on lithium-ion cells, but many emerging technologies are gaining importance and are featured in the publication. Finally, the report describes the rapid developments in the production industry, as well as the European policy support to boost production and recycling capacity in NWE.

The report highlights opportunities as well as trends are rising from e-storage research and applications. For instance, the use of lithium-ion batteries in electromobility, increasing European and national subsidies and policies of carbon-neutral fuels, and the increasing number of second-hand automotive batteries.

Interested in the State of the Art Report on Storage Technologies report? Read it here on our website.

In STEPS, business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom have joined forces to strengthen the competitiveness of innovative energy storage (e-storage) providers in North-West Europe (NWE). A core activity of STEPS is advising e-storage SMEs on improving their product and entering new markets in NWE. By providing an overview of the current energy landscape, opportunities, and trends, the State-of-the-Art report supports SMEs to understand market developments and find market gaps. Contributing organisations include the Technical University of Darmstadt, the National University of Ireland Galway, Ghent University, the University of Twente, The Faraday Institution, House of Energy, Provinciale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost-Vlaanderen, and StoREgio.

Find out more about the STEPS by following us on LinkedInTwitter or contacting one of our Business Support Partners in your region.

To learn more about 3cea activities in STEPS or to keep up to date with STEPS updates see our dedicated STEPS page

Communities

Glenmalure Rural Energy Group hosted Community Energy Events

Glenmalure Rural Energy Group (GREG) hosted a series of online events for their community. The two-part community energy information event took place on Thursday 10th June and Thursday 17th June.

Part one of the event featured information in relation to home energy. This session provided the community with knowledge in the areas of insulation, heating your home and concluded with the current grants that are available to homeowners considering a home energy upgrade.

Part two of the series delved into the area of renewable energy, in particular the potential of renewable sources of energy such as biomass. Again, this information session outlined the grants that are available to pursue this green energy source.

As the events took place during Covid restrictions, both parts were online events. Each of the events featured videos from local Glenmalure residents who presented their own personal energy upgrade story. The local stories highlighted the benefits and challenges of upgrading the energy efficiency of their home, while also outlining why you should choose a renewable energy technology, such as Solar PV panels or Heat Pumps.

GREG organised a panel of experts for the events to discuss the grants that are available for homeowners and for the local community buildings. In particular, the Better Energy Community grant scheme was of great interest as they plan to upgrade their community buildings with energy efficient measures.

During the event, we at 3cea were delighted to participate and present the Glenmalure Energy Master Plan to the community. The Energy Master Plan takes in the surrounding areas of Glenmalure, Ballinaclash and Greenan, and it outlines the current energy standard and potential for the community.  The Energy Master Plan was conducted in collaboration with Wicklow County Council and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) through the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) Programme. The community residents were encouraged to learn from the Energy Master Plan and to consider future energy upgrade works going forward.

The GREG community group have a recording of the event which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/UUVOEz5bQDg

For more information about our work, visit our Communities web page here.

Communities putting shoulder to wheel with renewable energy projects

More communities than ever before are coming together to develop renewable energy projects in their own localities, according to a Kilkenny-based energy engineer.

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 their energy costs and cut down on harmful carbon emissions:

“What we have particularly noticed in recent years 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, 22nd June through Zoom and community groups and representatives can register for this FREE online webinar at http://bit.ly/KilkennyGridStudy.

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.

* For any queries on this event, please contact Mari or Patrick on events@3cea.ie

For more information on 3cea’s range of community programmes, visit our Community page here.

Kilkenny County Council

Kilkenny County Council achieve ISO 50001 Certification

Kilkenny County Council recently achieved ISO 50001 Standard for their energy use, guiding the council to the 50% energy efficiency improvement target set for 2030.

The ISO 50001 certification is a global standard for energy use and energy consumption. It recognises Kilkenny County Council‘s commitment to continuously improve their energy performance.

Kilkenny County Council ISO

Paddy Phelan, CEO for 3cea, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness, Cathaoirleach, Kilkenny County Council, and Anne Marie Shortall, Senior Executive Officer, Environment, Kilkenny County Council PICTURE: Vicky Comerford

Andrew McGuinness, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, welcomed the news of the ISO 50001 certification.

“I am delighted that the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) following an extensive audit have confirmed that the Council’s energy systems comply with the ISO 50001 standard,” he said.

“This is the culmination of many years of work by the staff of Kilkenny County Council, in particular the energy team who have worked hard to achieve the standard and I commend them for their efforts.”

Senior staff in all departments in the council participate in their energy team. The energy team play a significant role in the management of energy from their office buildings, to public lighting and the council’s fleet of vehicles.

We at 3cea were delighted to support Kilkenny County Council in their journey to achieving the ISO 50001 energy standard.

Collette Byrne, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council, highlighted the role each member in the council plays when it comes to energy management.

“Our commitment to improving energy performance is reflected in our Energy Policy and in our Climate Action Charter,” she said.

“The ISO 50001 standard will help us deliver the target of 50% improvement in energy efficiency over the next 10 years as set in the National Climate Action Plan.”

In terms of energy efficiency, Kilkenny County Council have also achieved the 33% target set for Local Authorities in 2020. This achievement, along with the most recent ISO 50001 accreditation, puts the council in a great position to tackle the ambitious targets set for 2030.

To continuously improve, the council take on many tasks such as, tracking energy consumption, setting energy targets, undertaking energy audits and looking to increase energy efficiency.

Over the years, Kilkenny County Council have conducted various projects to improve their energy performance. One such project is the Public Lighting Energy Efficiency project where the council upgraded 11,000 public lights across the county with more energy efficient LED lanterns (over 50% completed to date).

Similar projects include the upgrading of their buildings with improved heating systems and upgraded building fabric; energy saving controls and sensor systems installed in council offices and for their transport fleet, the council implemented an eco- driver training programme.

To learn more about how we support Local Authorities, visit our Public Sector page here.