Local group changing the way Clane people think about their energy use

Emer Conway of Clane Sustainable Energy Committee outlines its plans for the town

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Local group changing the way Clane people think about their energy use

CSEC member Stephanie Alvez will use a Home Energy Savings Kit this winter to see what energy saving moves she can consider in her home

Clane is the first Kildare town to avail of the SEAI Energy Master Planning Process which will guide the community in their transition to a lower carbon future.

Their journey began in January 2019 when a local group, comprised of individuals from different community sectors in Clane, came together.

Their common interest was to all to play an active and positive part in Climate Action on behalf of their members.

With that common goal in mind, they formed Clane Sustainable Energy Community joining 400 other communities nationwide in the Sustainable Energy Communities Network.

Vision
The first step was to set out their vision in their Community Charter.

Their aim was to provide the people and places in the community with the knowledge, tools and skills to create a sustainable energy system. By doing so, they will play a pivotal role in creating a low carbon way of living in their locality and provide a positive framework in which people can transition the way they consume energy in a safe and trustworthy way.
In Clane, this will to be achieved by :


l Implementing behavioural change programmes and increasing energy awareness through education that will help people to see how they can use less energy and more clean energy in the future.

l Improving energy efficiency and promoting financial savings that be gained by implementing efficiency measures.

l Transitioning to a sustainable and low carbon economy.

l Examining feasible renewable energy and community energy generation systems.

Through the national network, Clane SEC will benefit from expert advice and mentoring from the SEAI as well as the collective knowledge from the 400 strong other communities across Ireland. The development of an energy master plan is key to assisting in achieving the goals of the group.

The Energy Master Plan (EMP) will provide a comprehensive overview of energy consumption and energy generation in Clane.
Publicly available data sets and energy use estimates from a range of sources including, but not limited to, the SEAI, CSO, KCC and Teagasc will be used. The requirements of the EMP are set out below:

1. Quantify the current consumption/baseline of Clane – Baseline of electrical, thermal and transport demand.

2. Carry out Energy Audits of selected domestic and non-domestic buildings.

3. Create a Register of Opportunities (RoO).

4. Identify projects that can avail of the Communities Energy Grant and identifying projects that can avail of other grant schemes.

5. Identify additional/potential energy reductions or alternative energy options.

The Energy Master Plan will be used as a roadmap for Clane’s progression towards sustainable energy and can be used to support applications for capital grants to upgrade existing housing and commercial building stock.

The study will also identify the potential for the implementation of sustainable transport models such as electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, alongside renewable energy generation possibilities from many varying sources such as geothermal , solar etc.

In Kildare, network members have the added benefit of support from Kildare County Council who are partnering the group in Kildare as lead applicant.

SEAI community energy mentor Emer Conway said: “This has taken away a lot of the burden around the procurement aspects of the energy planning process and allows us to focus on engaging the communities on exploring their vision for a clean energy future.

“ It also means that we have access to experts in the area of energy services to guide us through the EMP Process and make sure that the technical aspects of the process are backed by the right level of specialist knowledge.”

The group in Clane are currently working with Dr Isabella Donnelly, Snr Energy & Environmetal Consultant from ORS, a leading company in this area.

For more information on the SEC Program visit or contact Emer Conway on 087 2349829 or kildareenergy@gmail.com.