Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has announced that grant funding of €26 million has been approved for 44 community energy projects across Ireland.
The projects were successful in their applications under this year’s round of the Better Energy Communities (BEC) scheme.
This year's funding will provide for energy efficiency upgrades to more than 2,013 homes, of which 1,510 are energy poor, and a further 479 community, public and commercial facilities. The projects include a wide range of upgrades to fabric (insulation), heating systems, lighting and solar heating. The total investment in energy efficiency is almost €67 million, supporting more than 1,000 jobs in the construction sector right across the country.
One of the projects that has been successful in this year's scheme include Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative (ECTC) which seeks to extend and continue its endeavour to reduce CO2 emissions by retrofitting 95 homes and 4 Community buildings. ECTC's projects are based in communities in Tipperary and adjoining counties.
Minister Naughten said that over 350,000 people across Ireland have improved the energy efficiency in their homes through Government grants and specifically 300 community energy projects have received funding and support over the past five years, resulting in 15,000 homes and hundreds of community, private and public buildings improving their energy efficiency.
He added - "Engaging with communities is the best way to convince people of the benefits of energy efficiency and to support them in making the buildings they use in their daily lives more comfortable, healthier and cheaper to heat and light.
"Energy and Climate Action are inextricably linked. Using less energy, and using it more efficiently, is the most cost effective and accessible way for us all to take action on climate change.
"This month I announced a new €5 million euro scheme for householders to financially assist them in deep retrofitting their homes to an ‘A’ BER rating. Works supported by my Department’s energy efficiency programmes also create jobs and support the local economy. Community based organisations are now training people to become experts in installing energy efficiency technologies and carry out energy efficient improvements to houses".