Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources today announced that the Government will spend €13 million by the end of this year on over 80 community energy projects around the country, under Better Energy schemes administered by SEAI.
The projects include energy efficiency upgrades to over 3,500 homes, 80% of which are classed as energy poor, and more than 290 public and community buildings. Delivering the projects will involve the equivalent of over 300 full time jobs and will achieve almost €7 million annual energy savings.
The Minister marked the announcement at one of the flagship projects, a partnership between Musgrave, its retail partners in SuperValu and Centra, and the GAA. The real innovation is that Musgrave and its retailers, as part of the overall Better Energy investment, will in turn part fund energy upgrades in the local community. The project will see energy efficiency upgrades completed in 24 retail stores, including insulation and heating and lighting upgrades. Musgrave has selected 22 local GAA clubs as partners whom they will part fund to get similar upgrades, saving them in the region of €47,000 a year, which can be redirected into club development. Total grant support to this project is €520,000.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister Pat Rabbitte said: “This collaboration between Musgrave and the GAA shows how local efforts can combine to deliver significant results in energy efficiency. The €13 million funding announced today is focussed on similar initiatives at community level supporting practical energy efficiency upgrades, making the properties warmer, more comfortable, and less costly to run. We see this as a key component of the future for retrofitting in Ireland.”
Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive of SEAI said: “Energy retrofitting is worth hundreds of millions of euro and maintains thousands of valuable jobs. This type of partnership will be a key enabler for unlocking more opportunities in the future.”
Mr Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Musgrave, said on behalf of its retail partners in SuperValu and Centra: “This initiative is a real demonstration of business investing in its local community. We constantly strive to ensure our stores are as energy efficient as possible, which leads to significant saving for our retailers, which can then be passed onto our consumers in the form of price cuts. This innovative approach from the SEAI means that we can now help our sponsorship partners in the GAA to put in place energy saving measures, which will help them save on their outgoings, so they can invest more in Club development.”
Mr Peter McKenna, Stadium Director Croke Park, GAA added: “We are delighted to once again partner Musgraves in this most exciting initiative – one that has the potential to make a significant difference in a tangible way in communities across the island. We take our responsibilities in this area seriously and to that end have worked hard to make Croke Park one of the leading venues globally in energy efficiency. We look forward to the roll-out of this latest partnership and wish everyone involved every success with it.”