Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix, County Laois, underwent a deep retrofit through the Pathfinder programme.

Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.

Through the Pathfinder programme, SEAI partners with public bodies to help them achieve their retrofit goals. We do this by building capacity and knowledge within the sector. One of our pathfinder partners is the Department of Education and together we are working with them to create a scalable model to retrofit Ireland’s schools. Scoil Mhuire is one of many schools that have undergone a retrofit and are now reaping the benefits of added comfort and lower energy bills.

Key results

  • B2

    BER rating achieved
  • 77%

    est. reduction in CO2 emissions
  • 93,000 kWh

    est. savings per annum

Before the retrofit, the primary school building was dark and gloomy with mould and spores appearing throughout, according to its Principal Margaret Slevin. Crucially it was never warm, which made for an unpleasant environment for students and teachers alike.

The project

The Department of Education identified the school as a suitable Pathfinder project.

The fabric works carried out included pumped cavity wall, external wall insulation and new insulated roof covering.  Doors and windows were replaced and the air tightness was improved. Mechanical works included a new air source heat pump combined with new radiators throughout, room thermostats and a BMS system supplying high levels of control.

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery units were installed. All existing light fittings were replaced with LED and improved controls. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and electric vehicle charging points were also installed

“It is fabulous, you know. It is bright, it is clean, it is fresh, and a much nicer environment to work in and for the children to learn in. The fact that it's bright, I mean before it was okay, but I suppose we didn't realise how bad it was until we see the lighting now. The difference that it does make. The general comfort of the whole building just makes it a much more pleasant working environment for children and for staff.”
Fiona Hynes, Deputy Principal, Scoil Mhuire


The project has estimated energy savings of 93,000 kWh per annum (87% efficiency improvement) and 22,190 kgCO2 emissions savings (77% reduction). The Building Energy Rating went from a D2 to a B1. The staff and students are delighted and it’s a much more comfortable environment to be in.

Find out more about the Pathfinder programme

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Annual Report 2023 on Public Sector Energy Performance

Public bodies are required to report annual energy data to us every year. We manage the reporting process on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). This is the tenth year we have published an annual report on the energy performance of public bodies in Ireland. The 2023 report covers data for 2022 and is set in the context of Ireland’s EU and national commitments and wider climate change goals, whereby a 51% reduction in energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a 50% improvement in energy efficiency is to be achieved by all Irish Public Bodies by 2030.

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