Local community and home energy projects €57m boost
: Dr Ciaran Byrne, Director of National Retrofit at SEAI; Minister Eamon Ryan TD and Marianne Ward-O’Leary Maughan, chairperson of the Local Co-operative Committee and actively involved in the Kilcronan Court and Place Community Centre

Local community and home energy projects €57m boost

LOCAL community and home energy projects are set to receive funding of €57 million under the Community Energy Grant Scheme, reports Aimee Walsh.

The Minister for The Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD announced the 83 projects to receive grant funding which were administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) this year.

The grants are for projects which are supporting the delivery of 2,105 homes and 536 non-domestic projects, including public sector projects, sports facilities, community buildings and businesses.

The substantial government investment supports projects that will achieve energy savings which will collectively amount to €156 million, or 25,000 MWh, each year.

Under the programme, funding is provided for a range of improvements to existing buildings to drive energy efficiency and facilitate the installation of renewable technologies. These include the installation of insulation, heat pump systems, replacement windows/doors, solar PV technology, energy-efficient lighting, and energy monitors, as well as a host of other energy upgrades.

Minister Ryan visited Kilcronan Court and Place Community Centre in Clondalkin, which was one of the projects that was selected as part of last year’s Community Energy Grant Scheme to mark the announcement of this year’s successful recipients and to showcase the benefits of the grant scheme.

Kilcronan Court and Place Community Centre were awarded funding of almost €23,000 under the 2020 programme which was used to install cavity wall and attic insulation, as well as extensive upgrades to windows, doors and lighting. The substantial works also included a heat pump upgrade, and the total cost of the project was just under €46,000.

Speaking about the benefits of the Community Energy Grant Scheme, Marianne Ward-O’Leary Maughan, chairperson of the Local Co-operative Committee and actively involved in the Kilcronan Court and Place Community Centre said that it has given the centre a “new lease of life”.

“With the heating system upgrade we will now be able to use it throughout the winter and for after-school clubs. The centre is the heart of the community, it’s a great amenity and we will all benefit from the upgrade,” Marianne explained.

“The local co-operative committee had been advocating for much needed energy upgrade works to be carried out on the estate and the centre, we were delighted that Kilcronan was selected as part of the SEAI scheme. When the works were being carried out the committee linked in with the contractor and supported members on the estate in order to make it all go as smoothly as possible.”