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 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 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.


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.”

Webinar – Supporting EPC market development

Supporting EPC market development through EPC Facilitation Services – Key outputs from the Streetlight-EPC project


The Streetlight-EPC project has created demand and supply for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) in 9 regions by setting up regional EPC facilitation services and supporting projects towards implementation. The facilitation services provided comprehensive support to municipalities (including members of the Covenant of Mayors) and (potential) ESCOs. In the frame of Streetlight-EPC, 30 projects have already been implemented using a variety of EPC models and 10 more with other financing or operational models. In total, 20.4 million Euro have been invested so far.

This webinar will present the project approach, key lessons learnt and conclusions as well examples of implemented projects. A keynote presentation from the European Commission will shed some light on how the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” package may influence the development of the EPC market. Book your place here.

Kilkenny City Street Lighting shines on EPCs

We are pleased to notice that the Kilkenny City Street Lighting case study for the Streetlight-EPC Project, of which we are regional partner, has been published on the BUILD UP portal, the European portal for energy efficiency. 

Street Light EPC is an EU project aimed at promoting the use of Energy Performance Contracts or EPCs as an accessible way of refurbishing street lighting in Europe which boasts in excess of 56 million street lighting luminaires. Much of this infrastructure is old and inefficient, just as was the case with Kilkenny City street lighting recently upgraded through the project as a city partner, facilitated by regional partner CKEA. EPCs transfer some of the energy savings risk from the consumer to the supplier. A form of EPC, an Energy Performance Related Payment model which links contractor payment to energy performance, was adopted by Kilkenny County Council when upgrading the 60 to 70 year old street lighting infrastructure. Download the Kilkenny City street lighting upgrade in the case study here:[download id=”2824″]


The World Sustainable Energy Days 2016 conference

Paddy Phelan, Manager, Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency is presenting at the World Sustainable Energy Days 2016 WSED_Logo_2016Event, in Wels, Austria. Paddy is presenting on the 26th of February at the 09.30 Workshop: How to dynamise energy performance contracting (EPC) markets? Paddy will be discussing the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency and their experience from facilitating EPC markets.

– Energy Efficiency Services Conference (programme)
Energy efficiency services are key for the transition of the building sector. New financing approaches and operation models support not only sustainable buildings and technology innovation but also create jobs throughout Europe.



 As a project partner to the Austrian OÖ Energiesparverband, we would like to draw your attention to a very interesting set of events held in the context of the international conference World Sustainable Energy Days 2016, 24 – 26 February 2016 in Wels/Austria!
The 2016 edition of the World Sustainable Energy Days offers 6 conferences and 3 hands-on events covering technologies, policies and markets. The full conference programme is available In 2015, the event attracted more than 750 participants from 64 countries.

The events of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2016:
– European Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Conference (including Site Visits) (programme)
The European conference on high efficiency buildings supplied by renewable energy covers the latest trends in building technologies, policies and markets.
– Energy Efficiency Services Conference (programme)
Energy efficiency services are key for the transition of the building sector. New financing approaches and operation models support not only sustainable buildings and technology innovation but also create jobs throughout Europe.
– European Pellet Conference (programme)
The European Pellet Conference is the largest annual pellet event in the world.
– Young Researchers Conference: Energy Efficiency + Biomass (programme)
Dedicated to the next generation of professionals and experts, the conference track presents the work and achievements of young researchers in the field of energy efficiency and biomass.
– European Energy Efficiency Watch Conference (programme)
The Energy Efficiency Watch Conference presents a panorama of successful policies and programmes that support the realisation of energy efficiency potentials in the EU countries.
– Smart Facade Materials Conference (programme)
Results from innovative research in the field of smart facade materials.
– Technical Site Visits (further information)
Site Visits on Pellet & Wood Chips and to Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
– Poster Presentation (further information)
A display of successful projects in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources
– Tradeshow “Energiesparmesse”
With more than 100,000 visitors, one of Europe’s largest tradeshows for renewable energy and energy efficiency (further information)

The World Sustainable Energy Days conference is organised by the OÖ Energiesparverband, the energy agency of Upper Austria. Upper Austria is an ideal location for such a conference: by 2030, all electricity and space heating in the region will come from renewable energy sources. Already today, the region has a leading role in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (36 % of the of the energy demand is covered by renewable energy). Also, thanks to consistent policies, there are already more than 1,000 buildings meeting passive building standard and several thousand “Nearly Zero Energy Buildings” in the region.

The conference office is at your disposal for any further questions (T: +43-732-7720-14386,
Registration is still open. Sign up online and take part!

Streetlight EPC