By Suzanne Pender
CREATING jobs and saving money through the use of energy-efficient projects has becomes a goal for a newly-reformed community group in Tullow.
Tullow Sustainable Energy Community Network (SECN) aims to bring local people together to develop a sustainable energy system for the benefit of the whole community. Money can be saved through the use of energy-efficient projects and to create local jobs through energy efficiency.
Tullow joins more than 100 sustainable energy communities across Ireland, with hopes that communities can save as much as 20% on their energy use, lower their fuel bills and improve comfort levels.
First founded in 2013, Tullow SECN, working with the 3 County Energy Agency, received €35,000 in grant-aid to assist a number of community buildings in the town to update heating systems, insulate buildings, replace windows, install attic insulation and carry out dry-lining.
Tullow SECN was reformed in May 2020 and aims to bring the benefits of a sustainable energy community to private residential homes, business premises, sports clubs, schools, community buildings and to local farmers.
A new committee consisting of Fr Andy Leahy (chair), cllr Will Paton (secretary), Larry Kavanagh and Kathy Walsh (treasurers), Eileen Doyle, Sr Carmel McEvoy, Molly Kirwan and Billy Dawson with advisers Marina DeCosta (Carlow County Development Partnership), Jane Wickham (3 County Energy Agency) and Pat Harrington and Lilly Slye (Carlow County Council) has been working away since May to complete an application to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for funding to complete an energy master plan for Tullow.
If the application for funding is successful, Tullow SECN will hire a consultant to write an energy master plan for the town. Assisted by SEAI, Tullow SECN will provide local knowledge, time and people to help with buildings audits to write the energy master plan.
Tullow SECN is partnered with Carlow County Development Partnership, Carlow County Council and the 3 County Energy Agency in developing the master plan. It is hoped that by combining grant-aid from County Carlow Development Partnership (the local LEADER company) and SEAI that community buildings could get a grant up to 95% of the cost of improving their energy efficiency, while businesses, homes, sports clubs, schools and farms could get grants of up to 50% to improve their energy efficiency and delivering cleaner, greener energy across Tullow.
For further information, please contact cllr Will Paton on 087 6787115 or keep up to date with the group’s progress and a series of information evenings by checking out Tullow SECN’s Facebook page.