The Ballinasloe Town Team formally launched their Sustainable Community Energy Plan with an extensive presentation at the Enterprise Centre from three guest speakers Ryan Madden of Plan Energy, Ruth Buggie of SEAI (Sustainable Energy Association Ireland) and Brian Graham of Solar Home LTD.
Town Team Co – Ordinator Anita Kileen, who has personally championed this project as key issue of the next decade of development for the town, welcomed all to the centre and thanked those who had contributed and helped thus far.
The public launch was open to everyone, hoping to consult and collaborate with all our community on how to effectively manage power, energy and reduce our carbon footprint over time.
Ryan Madden, a representative from Plan Energy, outlined the new Ballinasloe Energy Master Plan, reviewing the town’s current energy practises. Reportedly, on average, a household in town can spend over €350 a month on all electric appliances, with an immersion, tumble dryer and dishwasher taking the heaviest bulk of the cost. The primary heating sources of Ballinasloe were found to be oil at 35.7% and peat at 26%, (average nationally with oil but over average with peat fuel) with the speaker encouraging the attendees to adopt wooden stoves or natural gas if they could.
Reflecting on the broader Sustainable Energy Community of 700 locations across Ireland, there are various practices Ballinasloe could adopt to reduce power usage and costs. In an analysis of ten residences in the region, Ballinasloe received a D1 in its Building Energy Rating for efficiency, which is in line with the SEC average but could be increased to a B1 by retrofitting 20-25% of buildings before 2023. Ryan Madden suggested other measures the town could aim for this decade included a 20% transition to electric vehicles and potentially adopting solar and wind power alternatives. Additionally, a 40% reduction in car journeys was suggested, which could be reached by simply walking to a workplace or operating from home once or twice a week.
Overall, the goal has been set to reduce the community’s carbon footprint by 3% every year, estimating it could be lowered by over 10,000 tonnes by 2030. In addition, the report detailed that the community could become significantly more sustainable with 36,792,146 kilowatts per hour of savings if the measures outlined were to be implemented.
To sponsor these initiatives, SEAI Programme Manager Ruth Buggie outlined attention to grants available from the Govt. Agency. This includes funding available for the community, which can vary from €50,000 to €2 million depending on the scale of the project, as well as grants for home retrofits, sustainable transport upgrades and solar panel instalments for individuals in the locality. Attendees were actually taken aback at some of the schemes available.
Brian Graham of Solar Home LTD followed her on the topic of renewable initiatives, exploring different solar installation types as well as the cost, being €14,600 for a 4.5 kilowatt an hour panel fitting which can be alleviated by a SEAI grant of €2400. Located in Athenry, the company can be contacted at (091) 848 700.
If you hope to find out more information about the Ballinasloe Master Plan, Ryan Madden can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information on SEAI Energy Grants you can visit their website at www.seai.ie.
CLICK HERE to read the Latest Ballinasloe News Articles