The NCE SEC engages with communities to help them implement projects that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
NCE has collaborated with many communities to reduce carbon emissions and improve the energy efficiency of their homes and buildings since its establishment in 1993. In 2018 NCE set up the ENERGY-HUB a community energy support office offering guidance to Sustainable Energy Communities on how best to develop, finance and implement energy efficiency retrofitting projects. In the same year established its own sustainable energy community offering training and education around energy awareness. The energy-hubs project planning phase is designed to align with the funding available through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Irelands (SEAI) better energy communities’ scheme (BEC). The Hub engages with communities seeking opportunities to reduce their carbon emissions. By pooling resources from many communities together the Hub is able to create projects of scale with multiple partners that attracts funding from the BEC scheme. The balance of the funding is provided either via bank loans, savings in energy and the sale of energy credits. NCE assesses the properties proposed by the communities, determines the amount of works needed to achieve a minimum B2 building energy rating (BER), the cost of the works and the likely sources of funding. NCE Energy Hub has help set up two other energy communities in Cork – The cathedral and Shandon SEC and the BGB SEC. In 2019 the hub collaborated with Credit Unions in Cork City and established (Green Loans) financial instrument for homeowners.
Communities, Energy inefficient homes and buildings, finance, person power, energy champions, additional contractors specialising in energy retrofitting
Evidence of success
Project results over the years:
2019: Harbour View road Cork (Social and private houses)– 78 houses, €2.95m, Energy Savings per anum 1,442,238kwh = 55% savings , A3 rating achieved
2018: Killenreendowney Estate (Social) – 50 social houses, €1,25m , Energy Savings per anum 1,077,962 kwh =47% savings , B1 rating achieved
2017: 54 apts + 5 houses in Glenamoy Lawn /46 x bungalows, €1,95m , Energy Savings per anum 1,491,682 kwh =43% savings , A3/B1 rating achieved
Main challenges are (a) identifying champions in the communities for each project, (b) assisting communities to identify suitable projects, (c) identifying sources of funding, and (d) skilled contractors for retrofitting.
Potential for learning or transfer
These good practices are easily transferable to other regions of Europe. What is require is an organisation that can tap into the needs of several energy communities and assist them to identify, develop, finance, and implement energy saving projects in their community.
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