Nenagh-based Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative CLG (ECTC) won the Best Community Energy Awards at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Awards ceremony, which took place in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham in Dublin.
Vice-Chair of ECTC, Liam Lynch, Rearcross, said “Aileen Campion (Birdhill), Marcella Maher-Keogh (project Coordinator) and I attended the event. We were up against some very strong competition in our category and it was with great pride that we collected this national award.”
Terry Griffith, Birdhill, the ECTC Chairperson said afterwards “For the past five years, the efforts of our volunteer-led community cooperative, working with SEAI, have made 800 houses in Tipperary and surrounding areas more energy efficient and comfortable for their occupants. A total of €7 million has been spent within our communities, strengthening the local economy and creating employment. Winning this national award recognises the unique community energy model we have created. We look forward to building on our success and growing the company by introducing additional communities to the scheme in 2018.”
ECTC, using the Better Energy Communities (BEC) scheme run by the SEAI, enables householders to have insulation and heating system upgrades carried out. A householder only needs to fill in an expression of interest form and a quotation will be provided to them. If the householder is happy to proceed, ECTC will arrange the contractors and handle all of the paperwork.
For householders in receipt of certain social welfare payments, a grant of up to 80% is available. For all other householders, there is a grant of 35%. Community buildings can also avail of a 50% grant.
The Project Coordinator for ECTC, Marcella Maher-Keogh of Templemore, said “Receiving this Communities Sustainable Energy Award is a wonderful achievement for our community group. Since 2012, it´s been a privilege to be the coordinator for such a ground-breaking project, and to have worked alongside an outstanding team of volunteers and contractors. This award is a recognition of their work, and what we´ve all built together.
Even now, five years on, I´m still surprised by the number of homes without proper insulation or even proper heating systems. This project is all about helping people; we deal with cancer patients who are struggling without enough heat, and people who can´t afford to stay warm. Our aim is to get the message out: we´re here for our community; if you need help, contact us."
The ECTC board currently has representatives from Birdhill, Burgess, Cappamore, Drumbane/Upperchurch, Kilcommon/Rearcross/Hollyford, Lorrha/Rathcabbin, Newtown, Puckane and Terryglass. If there are any householders or communities that are interested in contacting them about the scheme, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone 086-108-0356, on Facebook www.facebook.com/Energy
CommunitiesTipp or by completing the online registration form on www.bit.ly/ectform2.