Ursuline Secondary School from Thurles in Co Tipperary has been named the winner of this year’s Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) One Good Idea competition for their campaign ‘Wattaware’. The campaign aims to raise energy awareness and tackle climate change by educating people in their community on the long term savings the can make when they choose household appliances with higher energy ratings
The team from Ursuline Secondary School were one of 20 finalists to reach the SEAI One Good Idea National Finals, which took place today at Croke Park Conference Centre.
The SEAI’s One Good Idea Competition, which is kindly supported by AIB, encourages students to create innovative and inspiring campaigns to highlight the small changes that can make a big difference to our lives, our pockets and our planet. This year, over 350 campaigns were developed by young people all over Ireland with 20 teams for the national finals.
Commenting on the success of these campaigns, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Denis Naughten TD, said:
“At the heart of the SEAI One Good Idea programme is the development of the engaged, active and creative citizen. It’s extremely encouraging to see the work, dedication and passion these students have shown in raising awareness of the issue of climate change and getting their classmates, teachers, families and communities to make small changes to their behaviour. Small changes can make a huge difference so it is exciting to see so many inspiring ideas here today.”
Over the last nine years almost 6,000 students from primary and secondary schools from every county in Ireland have been involved in making positive changes in their homes, schools and communities.
Speaking at the final, Mr Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of SEAI, said:
“What this programme shows is that we have some of the brightest and most creative minds in the country. The campaigns were of an exceptional standard this year and demonstrated the creativity and determination of our country’s young people in contributing to a better, more sustainable future. That is what One Good Idea is all about – empowering young people and encouraging small changes that collectively make a big difference.”
“I would like to pay tribute to the teachers who get their students involved in important campaigns like this one. Young people learn by example, so thank you for the great example you are setting our younger generations.”
A total of six awards were presented across three categories at today’s National Final including, the AIB Special Merit Award which was presented to the team from CBS, Coláiste Mhichíl in Limerick for their campaign Cleaner Better Savings.
Commenting on their involvement in the SEAI One Good Idea programme, AIB’s Director of Corporate Affairs Bobbie Bergin said:
“The future of our country looks bright when we see the ideas of these young innovative people who, given the standard of the SEAI One Good Idea competition, are clearly brimming with serious concepts, designs and plans. Their consciousness of climate change and how to combat its effects is striking and banks like AIB are in a position to provide practical support to help them bring their brilliant ideas to fruition”.
Other category winners included:
- Primary Winner – ‘Saighdiúiri Uisce’, St Patrick’s NS, Bruree, Co Limerick
- Primary Runner Up – The Fooderinos, Rahara NS, Rahara, Co Roscommon
- Junior Post Primary Winner – ‘Green is the New Black’, Seamount College, Kinvara, Co. Galway
- Senior Post Primary Winner – ‘Walk for U’, Scoil Mhuire Buncrana, Co Donegal
- AIB Special Merit Winner - 'Saving Energy at Home / School', CBS Coláiste Mhichíl, Limerick City
Notes to Editor
Here are some good ideas for you to use in your school, home, workplace or community:
- Lighten up – Switch your light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamp (CFLs) or LED lights. They last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs and use only a small fraction of the energy.
- Upgrade your appliances - By upgrading to an A-rated appliance you could save €150 a year on running costs.
- Lower your thermostat - If you lower your thermostat by just 1ºC, it could knock as much as 10% off your heating bill.
- Get your boiler serviced - Inefficient heating systems tend to be the biggest energy drain for most households so be sure to service your boiler regularly - every year for oil, every second year for gas.
- Close the curtains - Much of the heat loss from a house is through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang between the radiators and the room.
- Carpool - Try combining trips (such as shopping and the school run) to avoid taking the car out several times or see if you can share the car journey with someone else, at least taking one car off the road.
- Batch cook - The oven is expensive to use, try to use it sparingly and as efficiently as possible. Where possible use it for more than one item at a time and remember you can cook at a higher temperature at the top of the oven, and at the same time at a lower temperature at the bottom.
- Get a BER (Building Energy Rating) of your home – A BER cert is a great way to find out what areas of the home are draining energy.
- Insulate your home – Insufficient insulation leads to expensive heat escaping the house. For example, 30 per cent of heat can escape through a poorly insulated attic. By upgrading it, you can save as much as €200 a year.
- Visit SEAI.ie – For more information on how you can save energy in your home or to find out about the range of grants available visit www.seai.ie.
For further information
What this programme shows is that we have some of the brightest and most creative minds in the country. The campaigns were of an exceptional standard this year and demonstrated the creativity and determination of our country’s young people in contributing to a better, more sustainable future. That is what One Good Idea is all about – empowering young people and encouraging small changes that collectively make a big difference.