Knocklyon held a very successful community engagement event, completed their energy master plan and participated in the SEC pilot programme in 2018
50%Residential energy savings identified
300Lights Upgraded in St. Colmcilles’ School
17Opportunities identified for local businesses
Helping communities establish an energy masterplan
The Knocklyon Network was established in 2010 to bring ideas, activities and local business together. The aim was better joined-up thinking during the recession. It was from this overarching committee that the sub-group Knocklyon Sustainable Energy Community was formed.
Retired engineer, Edward Edge is chairman of the group. He believes that their success came down to early mentorship and partnership with the SEAI. This helped them establish a baseline for its priorities in the form of an energy masterplan. As Knocklyon is largely residential, retrofitting homes was their initial priority. “We got a profile of the estates in the area. Some of the houses are 40 to 50 years old, the construction is dated and they are not energy efficient”, says Edward.
“We focused on housing in terms of energy efficiency. We also talked to other communities like Terenure, who we work quite closely with”, he continues. The community held an event in the local school. They undertook a survey to establish local interest in home energy upgrades. “We got 70 expressions of interest from our questionnaire. Out of that we got a nucleus of about 12 people who were definitely interested”, explains Edward.
The community group where able to structure three home upgrade options for homeowners based on budget range. This included:
- a starter package
- a standard package
- an advanced package
Through gradual uptake of these retrofit options, the Knocklyon Sustainable Energy Community determined that over 10 years:
- there would be a saving of 50% in residential energy use,
- this is the equivalent of €4.6m of energy spend.
The group also identified opportunities for the local school and 17 commercial organisations in the area. Over 300 lights in St. Colmcilles’ School where upgraded to LEDs. The overall savings from this small project alone was 140,000 kWh and 35 tonnes of CO2.
The Knocklyon Sustainable Energy Community meet fortnightly. “It tends to be serious because people are very busy and when you are pushing to make things happen. It tends to be concentrated”.
Joining the Network - Learn, Plan and Do
Joining the network initially means a community is in the “Learn” stage of the programme. They receive mentoring, information packs, invitations to regional and national events and access to the rest of the network. These supports allow the community to gather information and start to establish their high-level sustainable energy goals and motivations.
The next stage is “Plan”. This is when the community enters a partnership with SEAI. They can receive more supports to establish a community energy master plan. This will determine the best course of action to take and how to take it.
The “Do” stage follows the energy master plan, when a community can implement the opportunities identified in their plan.