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Budget 2021

The government announced Budget 2021 on Tuesday 13th October with many energy related updates.

The budget announced on Tuesday brings hope for a green recovery in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have broken down some key takeaways from Budget 2021 with particular focus on the area of energy.

Carbon Tax

Carbon tax has increased by 7.50 per tonne, with auto fuel immediately coming into effect from Tuesday night (13th October 2020). All other fuels will be in place from May 2021. This carbon tax will increase every year up to 2029.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy, €38 million has been allocated to support projects in the commercial and public sector.

This funding has doubled from 2020 which reflects the government’s commitment in achieving the 2050 goal of becoming a net-zero emission Country.

This year’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction brought success to community-led projects and the government have allocated €3 million in capital funding to locally-owned community energy projects.

An Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme for energy efficiency electrical equipment has been extended by 3 years.

Retrofitting

The government have pledged that over €221 million in funding will be allocated to retrofit schemes, covering both residential and community projects. €100 million of the allocation will be funded through the carbon tax revenue.

The overall figure stands at €286.5 million, which has been committed to retrofit activity, with the inclusion of social housing projects.

The Warmer Homes Scheme will provide retrofitting grants and the National Home Retrofit Scheme will also provide homeowners the opportunity to upgrade their home’s energy efficiency rating to a B2 standard.

The carbon tax is expected to finance over half of the funding needed for such energy efficiency measures.

Additional funding will be available for 1,500 new places in retrofitting courses.

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) & Motor Tax

VRT and motor tax will increase in this Budget in relation to the emissions values from your vehicle. Lower-emitting cars will therefore receive lower VRT rates, with higher tax rates applied to the higher-emitting vehicles. As a result, electric cars will become more competitive as they will have lower motor tax costs.

The VRT reliefs that are in place for electric and hybrid cars will expire as these cars will be receiving the lower rates due to emitting less. NOx surcharge will increase for NOx emitting vehicles.

A 3rd motor tax table will be introduced in 2021 to reflect the new emissions test standards for cars registered from the new year.

Transport

Public transport is one area which is set to be allocated an increase. A €1 billion increase in public transport is planned for 2021.

The increased funding will be developing projects such as BusConnects, MetroLink, and the Dart expansion.

Sustainable mobility is a key area in decarbonising the transport sector and up to €1.8 billion will be allocated to improve public transport; carbon reduction programmes; active travel; and greenways.

2030 Regional Energy Transition Strategy

In January 2020, we launched our 10 year Regional Energy Transition Strategy. 3cea welcome the announcement of this Budget as it highlights the important low carbon choices that we will have to make to reach our goal of transitioning to a low carbon region by 2030.

To achieve the 2030 targets, we all must work together to deliver energy efficiency, clean energy, behaviour change and ultimately greater sustainability – this is what the Regional Energy Transition Strategy to 2030 seeks to address.

Read our 2030 Regional Energy Transition Strategy in full here.

Sustainable Energy Communities – South East SEC Webinar Series

Online Information Events for Communities to be part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) Programme

The aim of these events is to provide basic information and introduce community groups from the South East to the SEC programme, highlighting the recruitment process, community engagement, grants, and funding opportunities. We will provide helpful tips on how to register as a Community for the SEC programme and what you need to do to be successful.

This webinar series will encourage communities in the South East of the country to engage with the SEC programme. The informative events will take place online with each event focusing on a separate topic.

SEC Webinar Series
The dates, topics and registration links are as follows:

22nd Sept: Recruitment Jane Wickham. Southeast SEC Coordinator | Register here
29th Sept: Community Engagement – Fiona O’Loughlin, Wexford SEC Mentor | Register here
6th Oct: Grants – Yvonne Byrne, Waterford SEC Mentor | Register here
13th Oct: Funding Opportunities – Therese Curran, Kilkenny SEC Mentor | Register here

Read more

Better Energy Communities Grant

Everything you need to know about applying for Communities Energy Grant (BEC)

What is Communities Energy Grant (BEC)?

Over the past 5 years 3cea has assisted in the delivery of cumulative energy savings of more than €19.6 million through the Communities Energy Grant (BEC) initiative. 3cea team has been successful in securing grant funding for communities and businesses across all sectors.

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

How can 3cea help?

3cea has extensive, award-winning experience and expertise in supporting applicants through the BEC pipeline, we act as your project-coordinator and energy advisor throughout the entire process. Our Team has achieved success through combining specific technical expertise and local community knowledge on hundreds of energy efficiency projects of scale since 2002.

From initial application to final sign-off, we can project manage the entire process, this is why we encourage you to get in contact now to discuss your project in more detail.

Funding & Supports Available

  • Up to 50% funding for community projects
  • Up to 30% funding for businesses and housing associations

Read more

Breakfast Briefing Events to guide your business to a Low Carbon Economy

Free Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office initiative to increase awareness around sustainability and the low carbon economy

MANUFACTURING businesses across the south east employing less than 10 people are being offered a unique opportunity to cut harmful emissions and make significant energy, waste, water and other savings through the landmark Green for Micro programme.

Local Enterprise Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary are pooling their resources, talents and skills for ‘Green for Micro’. The ground-breaking Enterprise Ireland-funded initiative will assist businesses in transitioning to a low-carbon economy and could be rolled out nationally, those behind the initiative say.

Hands-on tips, expertise, mentoring, audits and more will be provided by project collaborators, the 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea). The independent, not-for-profit team of energy engineers at 3cea will help participating enterprises examine their energy, waste, water, procurement and transport needs and make more informed, environmentally-friendly choices.

The first in a series of free breakfast briefings explaining Green for Micro to industry and to increase awareness around sustainability and the low carbon economy begins on Tuesday, January 28 at Wexford’s Ferrycarrig Hotel, starting at 8.00am.

Sessions follow in Waterford’s Tower Hotel on Tuesday, February 11; Kilkenny’s Newpark Hotel on Thursday, February 13; Horse & Jockey in Tipperary on Tuesday, February 18 with the final, free breakfast briefing takes place in Carlow’s Woodford Dolmen Hotel on Thursday, February 20. Each breakfast briefing runs from 8.30am to 9.30am sharp.

Phase two of the project will then involve energy audits carried out on ten micro, manufacturing businesses – two in each of the five participating counties. The results of their findings will be showcased at a conference as part of phase three of the initiative. The final phase of the Enterprise Ireland-funded programme will see monitoring equipment installed at various enterprises.

Enterprise Ireland Regional Executive, Brian Fives said: “Micro enterprises across the South East are eager to play their part in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Green for Micro shows them the way. Auditing their energy consumption, mapping the results and monitoring their transition will provide an invaluable insight into how every enterprise can play its part in Ireland meeting its 2030 climate targets. We are proud to be leading the way here in the South East.”

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny’s Aileen McGrath : “We urge qualifying micro enterprises to attend the no obligation breakfast briefing, pick up an expression of interest form and see how even the smallest of changes in their manufacturing processes and general business decisions can make a big difference. While our primary target is manufacturing, micro enterprises in other sectors may also qualify and we encourage them to attend,” she said.

3cea Energy Engineer, Shane Faulkner, said: “We will provide each participating enterprise with up to nine days of expert help which will include audits, reports and mentoring. The level of buy-in from manufacturers in the region is extremely encouraging and are really looking forward to playing our part. The fact we’re working at a regional level rather than with individual manufacturing enterprises and in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices across the region makes Green for Micro a massive game changer for the entire South East, beyond even,” he said.

Green for Micro is one of three projects grant-aided to the tune of €345,000 by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD and lead by Kilkenny and Carlow Local Enterprise Offices in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Offices from Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

The other projects include Initium South East and Incrementum South East.  The Initium South East project is an innovative series of start-up programmes led by the South East Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, and the Ireland South East Office in partnership with South East BIC and IT Carlow. It aims to animate, develop and support the creation of 40 new specialised Start Up companies in the South East.

The Incrementum South East project is a targeted business development programme for the Local Enterprise Office Portfolio of clients over 10 employees which aims to increase their engagement in R&D and Export Activity.

About this event

Registration & breakfast for the event starts at 8 am, the first speaker will begin at 8:30 am.

The Breakfast Briefing events are free to attend but please register your attendance on Eventbrite or by contacting Mari or Patrick on 0567790856 or at events@3cea.ie

Wexford Event – Register Here

Waterford Event – Register Here

Kilkenny Event – Register Here

Carlow Event – Register Here

Tipperary Event – Register Here

There will be speakers representing local businesses to talk about what they have done in improving the environmental and cost competitiveness of their business.

Real life stories and case studies 

At the first Breakfast Briefing event in Wexford, Killowen Farm and Kehoe’s Potatoes will give an overview of the projects they have undertaking including measuring and monitoring, reducing waste, installing LED lights, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity and putting a plan in place to to tackle their rising costs.

3cea will give a presentation on supports available to SMEs and how to access theses supports and grants.

Free information meeting about grants and assistance to make homes and buildings more energy efficient

Grant schemes covering up to 80% of costs to be explained

Home and business owners, farmers, community groups, housing associations and more across Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford who want to slash their energy costs, reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy the comfort of more energy efficient homes are invited to a free, no obligation information meeting which highlights the attractive grants and expert help available to complete such works. Read more

SEAI/IEA ESCO Survey

Introduction

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), in partnership with The International Energy Agency (IEA) are conducting a survey of the ESCO market in Ireland in order to establish an understanding of the scale and makeup of the market in the region. IEA tracks the size of the global Energy Service Company (ESCO) market through its annual Energy Efficiency Market Report.This survey aims to obtain information about the energy efficiency component of the ESCO market in Ireland including its current size, financing mechanisms, policy drivers and prospects.

The information collected through this survey will be published in the IEA’s Energy Efficiency report and on the IEA website. In addition, SEAI will use this information to design supports for the EPC market for public and private sector clients. Your views will be an essential contribution to our analysis and will also improve understanding about the status and drivers of the global ESCO market.
If quantitative data has not been recorded for any of the below questions in your region, please provide an estimate based on previous years or other information briefly explaining how the estimate was arrived at.

Note that for the purposes of this survey, ESCOs are considered as companies that provide energy performance contracts, i.e. energy saving or energy supply contracts with performance guarantees. ‘As a service’ type contracts are not considered energy performance contracts.

Please note that all information will be anonymised and is completely confidential between SEAI and your organisation. IEA will publish anonymised aggregated data on the Irish ESCO market at https://www.iea.org/topics/energyefficiency/escos/countryprofiles/.

Accurate information is extremely valuable for programme and policy development purposes, but if you would rather not share specific information please state ‘rather not share’ as a response.

Leading renewable energy show returns with dedicated farm diversification advice

Energy Now Expo Ireland is boosting its offering by including a Rural Business Expo, to showcase expert farm diversification advice. The pioneering event for farmers and landowners has announced that it’s rebranding as ‘Energy and Rural Business Show Ireland’.

Run in association with the Irish Farming Association (IFA) and Teagasc, and taking place at the The Hub at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny on 23 and 24 October 2019, Energy and Rural Business Show Ireland is the one stop shop for the latest opportunities in renewable energy and carbon management as well as practical farm diversification advice. Read more

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership offering up to €100,000 plus in supports for top Kilkenny Energy Town

Kilkenny’s Energy Town

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership offering up to €100,000 plus in supports for top Kilkenny Energy Town

The search is on for Kilkenny’s Energy Town, a sustainable energy hub which will reap up to €100,000 in supports as well as expert help from the region’s top energy agency.

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) included a ‘Town of Energy’ audit and carbon reduction plan at the core of its 2014- 2020 LEADER Local Development Strategy. It has now teamed up with the not-for-profit energy experts for the region, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), to execute that plan. Read more

3CEA urges home owners to apply now for up to 50% grant aid under Deep Retrofit programme

HOME owners across Ireland with houses built in the 60s or 70s, or who are struggling to heat inefficient, more modern homes over 12 years old with poor BER rating, are being urged to group together and apply for a new retrofit scheme which offers between 50% and 95% of grant aid. Read more