Wicklow Tidy Towns Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) has been awarded a grant of €15,000 by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to prepare an Energy Master Plan (EMP) for the town of Wicklow. Consultants have already been appointed and work will start immediately.
The Energy Master Plan will identify the energy consumption in the town across all sectors – households, businesses, clubs, schools, community facilities, transport, etc – and will generate plans appropriate for Wicklow as to how energy consumption can be reduced over the next 5 years. By doing so, the community of Wicklow can make a reasonable contribution towards Ireland’s Climate Change targets without compromising on their lifestyle.
Andrew Lawless, a member of the Steering Committee of the SEC says that “the Plan will be done in 2 phases – a LEARN phase and a PLAN phase. While there is an amount of official information available, the SEC will be looking for people to take part in Energy Audits and for people to pass on their experiences where they have carried out or plan energy improvements. Once the LEARN phase is complete the PLAN will generate a list of potential energy projects together with costings, potential timescales and the benefits that can be gained”.
Andrew Lawless added that “a ‘just transition’ are the current buzzwords in tackling climate change and a critical element of the Plan will be to try and ensure that those who spend a high amount of their income on energy are assisted to become less reliant on expensive fuels. In certain cases, the full cost of adding insultation and other basic measures can be met through grants”
Once health guidance permits, the SEC will hold an Energy Awareness Day that will bring energy improvement contractors and potential customers together. Several electric cars will be there for demonstration and hopefully an electric bicycle. Talks will be given on simple measures that can save energy and it is expected that some freebies like LED bulbs will be available. Grants will be explained. The SEC hopes that if projects of a similar nature can be organised together then lower construction prices will be available.
A Facebook page called Wicklow Sustainable Energy Community has been started up and the organisation can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The SEC can be contacted directly on 085 8803114 and the organisation would love to hear from people offering advice or looking for assistance .