Sustainable Clonakilty, a group of community activists, were the driving forces behind this project. They established Clonenergy 2020 - a strategy-focused initiative which aims to “enable the transition of Clonakilty and the surrounding areas to energy neutrality through renewable energy, in order to support a sustainable economy and equality of life for the community by 2020."

Results

  • 996,376

    kWh annual savings
  • €79,234

    Better Energy Community Grant
  • 70

    High Quality bicycles

Key achievements

Community bicycle scheme

The most unique aspect of this project was the establishment of the first community bicycle scheme in a rural environment in Ireland.

Upgrades of private & public buildings

Energy upgrades were made to a variety of public and private buildings including Clonakilty Rugby Club, Richy’s Cafe & Bistro & Fernhill House Hotel.

SEAI grants

Funding was accessed through the SEAI Better Energy Communities (BEC) grant scheme. It was applied for by NCE Insulation on behalf of Sustainable Clonakilty.

The project

NCE Insulations worked with Sustainable Clonakilty to deliver this ambitious project. Upgrade works carried out by NCE Insulations, included a mix of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, to a variety of public and private buildings, including Clonakilty Rugby Club, Richy’s Cafe & Bistro, Fernhill House Hotel & Gardens, Kildorrery Nursing Home as well as the first rural community bicycle scheme in Ireland.

Energy efficiency measures ranged from replacing old and inefficient oil boilers with heat pumps or hybrid high efficiency systems, LED lighting upgrades, window replacements, to recommissioning and controls optimisation for an existing solar thermal system and installation of a wood burning stove.

The project had to:

  • Work towards Clonakilty's 2020 energy neutral goals
  • Help support a sustainable economy and equality of life for the community by 2020.
  • Result in tangible local socio-economic benefits for the wider community

The community bicycle scheme

The most unique aspect of this project was the establishment of the first community bicycle scheme in a rural environment in Ireland. The project was awarded “Overall Best Community Project” at the 2016 SEAI Awards.The driver for this scheme emerged from a key learning from their 2020 Roadmap that one third of energy demand in the Clonakilty area was attributable to transport. It is promoted by a consortium consisting of Sustainable Clonakilty together with hotels and schools in the town and surrounding area. A total of 70 high quality white bikes are dispersed at 10 locations in Clonakilty, Inchydoney, Dunmore, Rosscarbery and Courtmacsherry and at the Model Village. The scheme is designed to replace short commuting car journeys, and to target school children in the town. Following its launch in June 2015 at the Clonakilty Bike Festival, more than 500 people joined the scheme within the first five months for a €20 annual fee which entitles them to use the bikes free for one hour as often as they like. There is also a short term rental option for visitors which helps to promote Clonakilty as a ‘green tourism’ destination along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Key to the success of the scheme is an awareness raising programme led by Sustainable Clonakilty and supported by the local schools as part of their green flag initiatives, which aims to emphasis the benefits of having more diversity within your transportation network.