Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White T.D. has met with Louth County Council in Dundalk to review the completion of the energy upgrade of 2,100 local authority homes throughout Louth. The works were completed as part of the Better Energy Communities 2014 programme, part-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The ‘Louth Energy Pilot Project’ has been described as the largest social housing “Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme” of its type to take place in Europe this year and according to Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council Cllr. Peter Savage, “We are proud that Louth has led the way in regards to the size of this energy efficiency project. This project saw the energy efficiency upgrade to 2,100 local authority homes throughout our county. These energy upgrades will facilitate the reduction of their home energy bills while also increasing comfort levels for individuals and families.”
“Technology is changing all our lives and this project carried out by Louth County Council is an example of the type of technology that is life changing for homeowners, who are now able with “climote” to easily control their heating timings and temperature via a smartphone, text message or online which is increasing energy efficiency and reducing wastage. The upgrading of local authority residents heating systems, has delivered tangible results with Louth County Council reducing energy costs for homeowners as well as improving the Building Energy Ratings of the Council’s housing stock. Ultimately it is families who have really benefited from the introduction of this scheme”, said Cllr. Peter Savage.
David Hourihane, Managing Director of SDCL Ireland, the investment manager of the IEEF said “This is a great example of why the fund was created. It demonstrates that energy efficiency investments can deliver stable returns for investors along with environmental benefits, through structuring projects that drive energy demand reduction within building infrastructure. We have a strong pipeline of opportunities that will come to fruition in the coming months across a number of key sectors, and expect the fund to be fully committed within our investment period over the next 2 years.”
“Officials and engineers from Louth County Council along with our project partners Electric Ireland, SEAI, climote and Kingspan have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition and complete a scheme, which began with a trial of the climote remote control home heating system in 40 homes in Cooley Park, Dundalk in October 2013. Since then we have seen 2,000 homes from the Cooley Peninsula down to Drogheda upgraded with a climote remote control heating systems and a further 100 homes receiving a full energy upgrade including insulation from Kingspan”, said Cllr. Peter Savage.
Declan Meally, Head of Department in SEAI said: “The project in Louth is just one of many that have grown from innovative partnerships that have evolved in the region. The benefit of a Local Authority and business working together to assist new local enterprises demonstrates the real value of partnership and is another way of delivering local jobs. The other benefit is to the homeowners who are struggling to pay energy bills and who now have the ability to actively manage their energy use.”
“The scheme has proved to be extremely successful for the Council, our project partners and most importantly the residents. We all have a responsibility to make this country more sustainable in terms its energy consumption and Louth County Council is playing its part in implementing schemes like this one which are helping to radically reduce energy intensity and usage. Louth County Council is exceptionally proud of our work on this scheme and we believe that along with our project partners, we have made energy efficiency a key priority and are a leading example for other local authorities in Ireland”, concluded Louth County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr. Peter Savage.
It is expected that later in the year many other local authorities and social housing agencies throughout Ireland will now seek to replicate the project carried out in Louth with climote and other project partners.