PEOPLE in Carlow town who are interested in making their community more energy-sustainable are invited to participate in an upcoming initiative.
Carlow County Development Partnership is interested in the formation of a Sustainable Energy Community Network (SECN) in Carlow town, following similar networks across the county.
The eventual aim is to apply for a SEAI-funded grant for the development of the Energy Master Plan (EMP) for Carlow town. The county development partnership invites all interested parties that would like to join them to form a committee to progress this further.
Since the launch of the programme, which began in 2017, the development partnership has supported and facilitated the setting up of nine registered SECNs in Co Carlow. It has enabled the development of an EMP for the villages of Old Leighlin, Myshall and Tullow.
The aim of an EMP is to allow a community to understand its current and future energy needs (in electricity, heat and transport) in order for the community to make informed decisions and prioritise actions. It helps communities to identify opportunities so it can become more energy-efficient, use renewable energy where possible and use smart energy technology if appropriate.
Upon completion of an EMP, a community should have a good understanding of how energy is used locally, be able to prioritise opportunities and have at least a medium-term action plan outlining the practical actions required to avail of these opportunities. Communities should also be able to identify the energy baseline and be able to measurably improve it after they complete energy projects. Completing an EMP means a community can have a say in its energy future. It will help communities to maximise the benefits from energy projects.
It is hoped the proposed Carlow town SECN will attract representatives from across the local community, including business people, residents’ groups and those interested in the environment and climate change. An SECN can provide linkage between sustainable energy, economic development and social cohesion.
For more information, contact Marina DeCosta at Carlow County Development Partnership on [email protected].