Denis Naughten T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, today announced that a number of projects in Roscommon will share in Government grants worth more than €500,000 under this year’s Better Energy Communities scheme.
The funds will provide for energy efficiency upgrades to Drumboylan National School, Cuisle Holiday Centre, Roscommon Livestock Mart, and two sports and leisure centres in the county. It will also allow for the renovation of the homes of at least 50 people currently living in energy poverty.
Commenting on the announcement, Minister Naughten said: “I firmly believe that people will become more energy efficient, not just because it helps to save the world but because it helps them to save money and makes their homes and businesses warmer, healthier and more comfortable. By supporting community groups in upgrading our schools, crèches, sports clubs and community halls we can demonstrate to everybody the real and practical benefits of energy efficiency. It also reduces the amount of money we spend on imported fossil fuels and instead ensures that this money supports local jobs in Roscommon.
Energy efficiency will be at the heart of mission in Government. I am determined to make energy efficiency more accessible to everyone throughout the country by making it simpler and more hassle-free at every step of the journey. Already, this year’s Better Energy Communities scheme makes funding available for the first time for the creation of a national support network for communities. This network will offer community groups the expert advice and support that they need to get involved with and change their energy usage. I hope that more community groups in Roscommon will join this network, and develop new projects that can be supported by the Government.
A real revolution in the energy sector is coming. With new forms of renewable energy, with new technologies that can put people in control of their own energy usage and with real support for people’s efforts to become more energy efficient, I think that we can deliver a transition to a sustainable economy that will be good for the economy, good for the environment and, most importantly of all, good for the people of Ireland and Roscommon.”
Note to editors
About the Better Energy Communities Scheme
The Better Energy Communities (BEC) programme, administered by SEAI, supports new approaches to achieving high quality improvements in energy efficiency within Irish communities. By bringing together groups of buildings under the same retrofit programme, BEC projects facilitate community-wide energy improvements more efficiently and cost effectively than might otherwise be possible. The programme focusses on improving the energy efficiency of Ireland’s building stock and supporting the use of renewable energy. Nationally, the scheme will result in 15,000 tonnes of CO2 savings, while supporting more than 700 direct and indirect jobs.
This primary project in Roscommon is led by Northside Community Enterprises (NCE) Insulation, working with Midland Warmer Homes Company. The project involves energy upgrades to 45 homes (eight of which are owned by the St Vincent de Paul), two sports and leisure centres, two private sector organisations and Roscommon Livestock Mart. The works that are proposed for the cattle mart will be promoted to IFA members visiting the mart to further demonstrate the opportunities for energy efficiency. NCE are providing technical support to the other partners and Bord Gáis are supplying financial support.