The Arranmore Cultural Centre, on Arranmore Island, benefitted from participation in the SEAI Community Grant scheme.


Arranmore Island, or 'Oileán Árainn Mhór' is an island situated off the coast of County Donegal. It is part of the Donegal Gaeltacht region.

The Arranmore Cultural Centre is part of the Comharchumann (Arranmore Island Development Co-operative) on Arranmore Island. It is a central part of life on the Island offering Islanders many services such as use of meeting rooms, various community classes and it also has a café where people meet and socialise daily.

Featured upgrades

  • solar panels
  • wood pellet burner replaced oil boiler
  • wall insulation
  • heating controls

Key achievements

Building now at comfortable temperature

Energy bills significantly reduced

Reduced carbon emissions

The project

Tomás Coisdealbha and the team, who manage the centre, decided to do something to improve the comfort levels in the building and reduce their very large heating bills. They knew from previous experience that getting an energy upgrade with support from SEAI was a good option.

Tomás explains “it's a quite large open space inside so we decided we would take advantage of some of these upgrades that were available with the funding for it. To get savings really and to futureproof the building going forward.”

The centre’s manager Noirín Muldowney was in talks with a local project coordinator about getting the upgrades done with SEAI’s support. The community has previous experience upgrading holiday homes in the village and were open to another project.

After engaging with the local project coordinator, they decided to carry out the following works:

  • Internally insulate the building’s walls
  • Remove the oil burner
  • Install a wood pellet burner
  • Install solar PV panels
  • Install heating controls


The centre no longer uses fossil fuels to heat the building. The heating bill has dropped significantly. The oil boiler was costing in the region of €3,000 - €4,000 per year. Pellets for the new wood pellet burner cost nowhere near that much. And the wood pellet burner also heats the water for the café.

The insulation and heating controls mean the centre is always at a comfortable, sustainable temperature. On bright sunny days, the solar panels provide electricity for the centre and this has helped to reduce the annual electricity bill.

“There's a lot of benefits. We've done a lot of upgrades to the centre, and it's really proven to save us an awful lot of money,” says Tomás.

Learn about Community Grants

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