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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.

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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.

We’re Hiring!

We are currently seeking an EU Project Officer to assist with the delivery of our European focused projects. 

We consider ourselves fortunate to be in this current position, as we are currently seeking an EU Project Officer to join our team.

The new role will focus on the delivery of our European projects. The successful candidate will have a collaborative approach, will be well organised, and have an ability to take initiative.

To apply for this role, please do so through our careers page which can be accessed here.

Housing 4.0 Energy Updates

News from the three Irish pilots

The Ireland pilot of H4.0E will be located in South East of Ireland (Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford), with each region committing to the delivery of four zero energy homes (ZEHs) each — twelve in total. This pilot will develop and utilise digitisation, 4.0 technology and integrate renewable energies.

The main construction principles will be prefabricated Timber Frame and Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) with the aim to use renewable building materials. Innovative technologies for sourcing renewable energy will be Air to Water Heat Pumps, Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), PV and Thermal Solar Panels. Local Authority Social Housing tenants are the intended end users, with the aim of addressing fuel poverty.

At the moment all three pilots are roughly at the same stage, but there are different completion dates, as there are different buildings types and therefore the planning process differs from each other. All pilots have planning permission and are currently at pro-curement for final design teams. This process has tak-en longer than normal due to the additional targets and standards being addressed in the H4.0 project, which is over and above the standard requirements of the Local Authorities.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis there will be delays in completion. This will have influence on the timeline and deadlines, therefore the timeline will be subject to change. The current timeline for Substantial Comple-tion is that Wexford to be completed in May 2022, Carlow in the first quarter of 2021 and Kilkenny in the first quarter of 2022. This pilots will also be monitored for the uptake of low carbon and digital techniques, products, processes and services and the resulting reduction in embodied and operational energy.

 

Housing 4.0 Energy Supply Chain Workshop

3cea will host a Housing 4.0 Workshop tailored for Suppliers, Manufacturers, Construction and Engineering Companies, Architects, Designers and other Industry Experts.

On Wednesday the 8th July, 3cea will be hosting a supply chain workshop which will discuss the Housing 4.0 Energy European project. With the help of industry experts across various sectors, the workshop will encourage participants to come together to share their knowledge and explore the aspects of sustainable energy solutions, building techniques, low carbon construction materials, sustainable manufacturing and supply chain.

In the Irish context, 3 Counties Energy Agency have teamed up with Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford County Councils who have committed to deliver 12 Zero Energy Homes in the South East region by 2021. The focus will be on delivering a sustainable and affordable housing model which can be replicated for future use across all Local Authorities in Ireland. The project will introduce a shift in the form of modern and innovative construction techniques, technologies, materials and processes used for building new homes.

The aim of this Workshop is to introduce the Housing 4.0 Energy Irish pilot and the Digital Platform that is currently being developed for suppliers, manufacturers, architects, developers, designers of modular build houses and for other industry experts to use. A group discussion will be held on how the project can be enhanced to achieve long-term sustainability and engagement within the industry. The intention is to create knowledge sharing networks between industry experts and allow better understanding of the project goals, understand and explain how the Digital Platform can work for you and what improvements can be made to improve the system and supply chain.

One of the main outcomes of the project is a Digital Platform that will help future builders and industry experts to optimise house designs used in these pilots. The platform will allow parametric models of the pilot technologies to be created, so that the cost of subsequently replicating each design can be radically reduced. This platform will also be able to take datasets and link these to the parametric models to support future optimisation and ultimately reduce building costs by 25% and CO² emissions by 60%. Additionally, an operational and embodied energy/CO² calculation tool will be integrated into the digital platform to help identify how much energy is being used by a given design tested within the project.

Alex Hamilton and Ralf Kampe of 3cea will host the Workshop on the 8th of July 2020. The Workshop will begin at 9:30am and will involve 6 supplier presentations with a virtual round table discussion to conclude.

Date & Time: Wednesday, 8th July 2020 from 9:30am-11:00am (Irish Summer Time)
Click Here to Register

Agenda:
-Welcome Address and Introductions
-Introduction: What is Housing 4.0 Energy?
-Guest Presentations (max 10 minutes per presentation)

1) Digitization of construction, John Whyte, BREgroup, research and advisory services
2) Mass timber building, design, supply chain, Merritt Bucholz, BMCEA, Architect/Designer
3) TF systems and supply, James Mason, TTCF, Timber Frame suppliers
4) TF systems and supply, Paul Glavin, Glavloc® Building Technology, Timber Frame suppliers
5) Modular homes standard, David, Gall, BREgroup, research and advisory services
6) Building material supplier, Joe Fitzgerald, Ecologicalbuildingsystems, low carbon material supplier
7) GGBS concrete and ICF, Susan Mc Garry, Ecocem, technical aspects of GGBS concrete and ICF, embodied CO2

-Virtual round table discussion on how the project can be enhanced and the long-term sustainability & engagement within the industry
-Q&A and Close

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

We look forward to your participation.

For any queries please contact Mari or Patrick on events@3cea.ie

SME Lighting Upgrade Fund

SME Lighting Upgrade Fund

NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR SMEs TO AVAIL OF UP TO 40% FUNDING TOWARDS LIGHTING UPGRADE

This is an excellent opportunity for businesses (50 employees or less) to avail of funding towards lighting upgrades. An SEAI programme of support has been announced. Terms and conditions apply and can be found on the SEAI website. The application process requires a lighting audit and evaluation and we suggest that interested businesses contact us right now so that we can schedule a lighting expert to visit you (fee applies).

Please note, all works must be completed by 13th October 2017.

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