CKEA Community Award Winners: Sustainable Energy Awards 2014

2014-11-13 22.55.52

The Project: Kilkenny Better Energy Communities (BEC)

In 2013 Kilkenny County Council and the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA) applied to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland for funding under the Better Energy Community grants scheme.

This was a unique collaboration between several local community groups, including a GAA Club, local hotels, community centres, social and voluntary housing demonstrating the significant energy efficiencies that can be achieved through a collective community approach.

The participants benefited from energy efficient upgrades in terms of internal lighting, insulation, energy efficient cooling systems, heating controls, renewable energy and improved energy management systems.

The great success of this project is not only proven by the 34% energy reduction achieved in the first year, but also by the impact in the day to day life of over 178 families, over 500 people and creating over 27 local trade jobs in 2013.

BEC 2013-2014-2015 Chart

Under this years BEC offering free audits and information evenings has increased the participation from the community.


The SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards:

The Sustainable Energy Awards are held annually by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. They are intended to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in energy management in the industrial, commercial, community and public sectors. The awards focus on individuals, groups and organisations who demonstrate a commitment to energy management and energy efficiency.

This year the “Kilkenny Better Energy Communities” project was shortlisted in the “Community” category. A gala award ceremony was held in the Shelbourne Hotel on the 13th of November 2014 where “Kilkenny Better Energy Communities” won the Community Award.

This prestigious Award is a great recognition and motivation to keep working with local organizations, businesses and individuals to make Kilkenny a better and more sustainable community

Paddy Phelan – Manager, Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency

Sustainable Energy Awards Winner

Sustainable Energy Awards Winner

John Mulholland, Acting Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council receiving the “SEAI Community Award” on behalf of Kilkenny Better Energy Communities from The Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Alex While TD. Also pictured (l – r) are Dr Brian Motherway, CEO SEAI, Paddy Phelan, Manager Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency, Elizabeth Cosgrave, Energy Engineer Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency and Jim Dollard, Executive Director Electric Ireland.

Top Energy Saving Tips In the Home

Top Energy Saving Tips In the Home

  • Look at energy efficient labelling when purchasing new appliances.  An ‘A’ rated appliance will use about 45% less electricity of a similarly sized appliance with a ‘D’ rating.
  •  Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need, research has found that a full kettle boiled 4 times per day will cost almost €60 more per year, than one filled for just two cups. It was also discovered that a huge percentage of  kettles used in homes are over 10 years old and are far less efficient than newer models.
  •  Wait until you have a full load in your washing machine or dishwasher before starting. Having a fully loaded dishwasher or washing machine will save both electricity and water. If you can use cold water washing powder and cold water cycles considerable savings can be made.
  • Regularly defrosting your fridge and freezer will keep it running more efficiently. Ice should never be more than 6mm as this will reduce the efficiency and by defrosting a freezer twice a year you can save an average of €20 of your electricity bills. You should also ensure the seals around the door are working correctly. When closing the door place a piece of paper across the seal; if the paper is easy to move, the door is not creating a good seal and the appliance is running inefficiently.
  • You can make up to a 90% saving in your lighting bills by retrofitting your old incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs . LED bulbs can also have a life span of over 20 years under general operation.
  •  Much of a room’s heat is lost through windows. Closing curtains and ensuring the curtains do not hang over radiators will stop them acting as a funnel for heat out the window. Savings can be made on a home’s space heating requirements.
  • Close all doors to separate heated from unheated areas of the home, and minimise the area you are heating. There is no need to spend money heating rooms nobody is in.
  • By turning the room temperature down by only 1°C, an average of 10% can be knocked off your heating bill. Room temperature should be set between 18°C and 20°C.
  • CFL lightbulbs use 80% less electricity than an equivalent incandescent lightbulb and typically lasts eight to twelve times longer. Replacing 3 X 100w incandescent lightbulbs with CFL’s which operate for 3 hours per day can save €43 per annum.
  •  Always turn off lights when leaving a room, even if only for a few minutes. Lighting can account for as much as 15% of a household electricity bills and by being more careful and turning off lights, dramatic savings can be achieved.
  •  Switch appliances off rather than leaving them on standby. This will save up to 20% of your appliances’ energy use.
  •  By keeping windows and skylights clean there will be a reduced need for additional artificial light.
  •  Ensure that your hot water cylinder and piping are fitted with lagging insulation which will reduce the heat loss.
  •  Educate yourself on how to use your heating systems correctly, often people use the heating system incorrectly leading to higher operation costs and a waste of resources.
  • When brushing your teeth make sure to turn off the tap; an average running tap wastes 6 litres of water per minute so you could save between 12 – 18 litres of water every time you brush your teeth. If a tap was to be left on every person could waste as much as 13,140 litres of water per year.
  • Make sure that there are no drips from taps or showers; a dripping tap could waste over 5,500 litres of water per year. Fixing a dripping tap is very simple and can be completed by a competent DIY person.
  •  By replacing a conventional 7 litre toilet cistern with a 4/2.5 litre duel flush system, savings of roughly 80 litres per day can be achieved. This may cost in the region of €150 – €175, but a far cheaper option is to fill an empty water container and place it in the cistern. This will reduce the flush by the volume of the water in the container.
  •  Talk to Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency, there are energy grants offered by The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland which you may be entitled to. These grants could allow you to further improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Case Study: Carlow County Library


Carlow County Library is located in the heart of Carlow Town. It is a protected structure and was once a convent. Carlow Library staff have been very proactive in completing energy projects.

Time FrameCarlow County Library

The initial decision to proceed with energy efficiency upgrades took place in April 2014 and the projects were complete by September 2014. The works were funded by SEAI Better Energy Communities 2014.

Implemented Energy Efficiency Measures

Carlow Library opted to install two energy efficiency measures. The first measure they implemented was an upgrade of their lighting. Their existing lighting was T-8, magnetic ballast, mixed with some 2-D fluorescent fixtures. The existing T-8s were replaced with T-5 flourescent tubes and new fixtures and the 2-D fixtures were replaced with LED equivalent. Occupancy sensors were placed in low use areas such as toilets and canteen areas. These were only replaced in the main library section.

In 2013, Carlow Library also upgraded their gas heating system with boiler controls. They kept the existing boiler, but simply added zonal controls, thermostats and timers.


  • Cost Savings – Gas €4,700, Electricity 19% Cost Savings on Billing Period Nov-Dec2014.
  • Energy Savings – Gas 65,000-kWh (Not Adjusted), 28% Gas Savings, 35% Electricity Savings on Billing Period Nov-Dec2014

Engineer Responsible:

Elizabeth Cosgrave, MEng. Sc., BE MIEI

  • Email:
  • Phone: 056 779 08 56


Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency


The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency is a non profit for public good energy consultancy. It is limited by guarantor by its board of directors. It was established under the EU SAVE programme in 2002 to provide sustainable energy information and services to the people of Carlow and Kilkenny, to local businesses and community groups and to the relevant Local Authorities. The CKEA has grown in stature since 2012,  employs 7 Engineers with a total staff of 10.

It’s income stream is primarily consultancy through public and private clients to whom Energy Services are provided.  The old saying ” a stitch in time saves 9″.

CKEA has two EU projects ongoing presently started in April 2014 running for 3 year term.

The Agency can be consulted for impartial information, advice and support by anyone considering energy efficiency, energy management or renewable energy projects nationally.

Member of the European Partnership for Local Energy Agencies.


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