ga - Louth County Council recognised for energy efficiency programme

 Local authority now seeking partners for upcoming funding round

Louth County Council was selected as a finalist in the Community category in the SEAI’s Sustainable Energy Awards for its work under the “Better Energy Community Funding Programme”. The national awards recognise and reward excellence in energy management in business, communities and public sector organisations. The local authority was shortlisted as a finalist from 130 entries. Representing the Council, Cathaoirleach, Councillor Paul Bell accepted the accolade at the awards ceremony earlier this month.

Commenting, he said: “I was delighted to receive this finalist award on behalf of Louth County Council, and we can be very proud of our achievements, particularly on the energy saving interventions that will benefit the fuel poor of our society.”

Louth County Council led a consortium of diverse clients across all communities, including sport facilities, community groups, church organisations and public sector organisations, to deliver energy saving measures. The project resulted in significant energy savings for all the participating organisations across the county. Louth County Council provided project management, technical guidance, local governance and oversight for the project and was instrumental in ensuring its successful completion on time and in accordance with the requirements of the scheme.

The Louth Project was ambitious in terms of scale and the level of energy measures undertaken. The project was awarded €900,000 of grant aid, which in real terms meant significant expenditure of over €2.2 million in the local economy in Co Louth, this in turn has engendered energy savings of €240,000.

Executive Engineer with Louth County Council, Barry Woods said: “The Energy Awards are a prestigious national event and to be nominated as a finalist is a powerful recognition of the efforts being made in Louth in promoting and delivering on sustainable energy initiatives. It confirms our expertise and our dynamic approach to energy management.”

Projects funded under the Better Energy Communities Project for 2016 are:

  • Kingspan in conjunction with Louth County Council Housing Department, Blackrock Tidy Towns, and Bord Gais Energy: Energy efficiency works were completed in 220 local authority homes (a significant portion of which were fuel poor homes) and a number of private homes in Blackrock. Works included cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, boiler and heating upgrades, and final BER certification.
  • Health Service Executive: Upgrade of primary care centre in Clogherhead, including wall insulation, loft insulation, new condensing boiler and heating controls upgrade, and LED lights.
  • Parish of Blackrock and Haggardstown: Boiler and heating controls upgrade, lighting upgrade at St Oliver’s Church, Blackrock, replacing existing doors, door frames and windows at St Fursey’s Church, Haggardstown.
  • Office of Public Works and Retrofit Energy Ireland Ltd: Draught-proofing and new insulation to existing Social Welfare and Revenue Building in Dundalk; replacing existing windows, providing external wall insulation, and upgrading heaters at Clogherhead Garda Station; two new high efficiency boilers with upgraded controls at Drogheda Social Welfare Office; new internal wall and floor insulation at Carlingford Garda Station; external wall insulation upgrade at Hackballscross Garda Station.
  • De La Salle Secondary School in Dundalk: Wall, loft and internal ceiling insulation, replacement of existing windows in gym building.
  • Dundalk Credit Union: Insulation upgrade to walls and floors, replacement of lighting to new LED.
  • Louth County Council Corporate Section: Replacement of corridor lighting with LED lights in Millennium Building, replacement of car park lighting, up-lighting and internal display lighting, all with LEDs at Millmount in Drogheda.

Mr Woods added: “The integrated and collaborative model adopted by the local authority on managing the project delivered on its core values: a commitment to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities, the protection of the environment, the promotion of sustainable development, and determination to succeed. These are all values and skills that local authorities have in abundance.

“We are now looking to partner with interested groups for the 2017 scheme. We would ask local community groups, sports facilities, private businesses and public sector organisations that have developed or partially developed energy efficiency proposals, to get in touch with us if they think the grant scheme could make a difference in realising their own energy efficiency plans.”

Interested organisations can visit http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Better_Energy_Communities/ for further information.

 Photo bell & b woods

Pictured at the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards 2016 are Executive Engineer with Louth County Council, Barry Woods and the Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Councillor Paul Bell. Louth County Council was recognised as a finalist in the Community category.