4 May 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said local homes, community amenities and commercial facilities will become more energy efficient thanks to government funding.
“Twelve projects here in Cork will receive funding from the Better Energy Communities (BEC) scheme, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
“This initiative will hugely improve the energy efficiency of our homes and public facilities by funding a variety of projects, such as upgrades to fabric (insulation), heating systems, lighting and solar heating. These types of works will transform the buildings we use in our daily lives to become more comfortable, healthier and cheaper to heat and light.
“Energy and Climate Action are inextricably linked. Collectively we need to take ownership of our energy usage, and using less energy more efficiently is the easiest and most cost-effective way for us all to take action on climate change.
“This year a total grant of €26 million has been approved for funding 44 community energy projects across Ireland. This 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.
“I welcome this allocation of BEC funding; it will significantly advance the Government’s national objective to upgrade every low-performing building in Ireland and decarbonise our energy system and economy.”
Senator Lombard continued: “Works supported by these programmes will also help create jobs and support our local economy in Cork.
“Community-based organisations are now training people to become experts in installing energy efficiency technologies and to carry out energy efficient improvements to houses. Such skills will be in ever-greater demand in the coming years, so educating, training and upskilling the workforce now will be effective in keeping up with this demand.
“Over 350,000 people across Ireland have improved the energy efficiency in their homes through Government grants over the past five years, resulting in 15,000 homes and hundreds of community, private and public buildings improving their energy efficiency.
“We need to persevere with these infrastructural improvements as to ensure we become a sustainable, climate friendly and energy efficient nation.”