€2.4 million invested across almost 100 building energy upgrades by DaysE

Kilkenny benefits from SEAI Better Energy funding 

Over €2.4million is being invested in 99 nationwide building energy upgrades as part of a collaboration between Donate as you save Energy (DaysE), Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency and Camphill Communities of Ireland, with Kilkenny set to benefit from building retrofits in Ballytobin, Callan, Kyle, Jerpoint and Ennisnag. Over €930,000 in funding is being provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) through the Better Energy Communities programme. 

The project coordinators held an information event with SEAI yesterday to highlight the energy upgrades completed and benefits to the local community.  

Kilkenny is one of nine Camphill sites that will benefit from the upgrades, representing the wide reaching benefits and impact of the project.  The works, including building insulation upgrades and the installation of renewable energy technologies, were completed in a selection of public buildings, homes and private businesses. In Kilkenny, these included the community hall and  art centre in Callan and the community hall and the Weavery in Ballytobin, with  the area also benefitting from the installation of a biogas combined heat and power plant which will generate electricity for the 80 residents in the Camphill Ballytobin community. In addition the Newpark and Pembroke Hotels in Kilkenny city and Kilkenny Golf Club have also been upgraded.

One of the innovative elements of the project is the ‘fund raising through energy savings’ model, as developed by DaysE, a Kilkenny-based social enterprise.  In collaboration with Airtricity, the private company grantees and the project contractors, DaysE raised an additional €200,000 in funding from donations, energy savings and energy credits.

Commenting during a visit to Ballytobin, John Randles, Head of Delivery with SEAI said: “ This is one of the larger projects that SEAI has funded and it is fantastic to see communities right across the country working together to improve facilities for those most in need, as well as making them more comfortable and cheaper to run.”

Continuing, Randles said: ”What’s commendable about this project is the ‘Donate as you Save’ model being used by the private businesses who are donating the financial value of their energy credits to the communities. This is really helpful in lowering the investment costs for Camphill and other charity organisations.”

Speaking on behalf of Camphill Community, Mark Dwan commented: “There has been a tremendous amount happening in these model inclusive shared living communities. With energy efficient building upgrades and new technologies these communities will be able to save energy and divert valuable resources to supporting vulnerable people. There has been significant innovation too, with Ireland’s first biogas CHP microgrid supporting a living working village community of 70 people. Camphill is grateful to SEAI, DAYSE, CKEA and all the energy credit donors who gave so generously.” 

A wide range of businesses nationwide also benefited from the installation of sustainable energy solutions including glycol beer cooling systems from REL, biomass boilers and solar panels from Glas Energy.

Further information on Better Energy Communities is available at www.seai.ie


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