CLONAKILTY’S bid to become a ‘sustainable energy’ community is making good progress, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The authority’s chief executive, Dr Brian Motherway, visited the town last week to see first-hand its multiple building energy upgrades which are nearing completion.
Sustainable Clonakilty, the charitable organisation driving the low-carbon vision, hosted an event highlighting the benefits to the local community from the projects being completed in local homes, buildings and facilities.
The retrofit projects, funded by the Better Energy Communities scheme, are being coordinated by Sustainable Clonakilty, along with local partners the Chamber of Commerce, Tidy Towns and Cork County Council.
Works being carried out include energy efficiency upgrades to a wide variety of public and private buildings such as the rugby clubhouse, Richy’s Cafe & Bistro, Fernhill House Hotel & Gardens, as well as upgrades to the first rural community bicycle scheme in Ireland.
One innovative project will demonstrate the pay-as-you-save financing model for the installation of air-source heat pumps in community-owned facilities.
‘Collaboration is the future of energy retrofitting in Ireland, with the benefits felt right across the communities,’ said Dr Motherway. ‘It is encouraging to see communities like Clonakilty’s taking positive action to improve the efficiency and comfort of our buildings, create local employment and reduce our reliance on expensive imported fossil fuel.’
Sustainable Clonakilty director Ray Lucey explained the significance of the grant for Clonakilty, saying the support received will potentially result in an investment of up to €120,000 in the town for sustainable energy projects. ‘This will reduce costs for businesses and community groups, create employment and of course reduce our town’s carbon footprint. It really is a great news story for Clonakilty.’