The team behind Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community are celebrating today after being named among the shortlisted finalists in this year’s Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Energy Awards.
The Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community is a finalist in the Inspirational Energy Community category. Through the energy ecommunities grant scheme, the group have delivered energy efficiency upgrades to over 230 premises in the wider mid-Louth community. The team in Dunleer are also now mentoring other communities to replicate the successes they have achieved.
Among the other finalists in the Insppirational Energy Community category are Leitrim Cróga (Ballinaglera SEC) and Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha CTR.
The Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community group are based out of Market House in Dunleer. Team Leader Eugene Conlon founded the group as he wanted to provide something meaningful that would have a lasting impact on the community in Dunleer. The Dunleer Community Development Board (DCDB), an umbrella organisation for 24 community groups in the area, became part of the SEAI’s energy community network.
They formed an Energy Team to manage the energy programmes within the local network, with the aim to engage people, to relate to people the realities of climate change and show them how together a community can make a difference.
Earlier this year, the scheme featured on the RTÉ programme Eco Eye, where they showcased how the team were helping homes and local sports clubs become more energy efficient.
In the past four years upgraded 230 premises, including homes, community centres, sports clubs and businesses across the county and beyond, to make them warmer and more energy efficient. This has resulted in reduced energy costs, achieved savings of 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity and taken 2,000 tonnes of CO2 out of the environment. In addition to helping the climate, the Dunleer SEC have helped these groups avail of SEAI grants from 35% to 80% of the total cost.
The annual SEAI awards recognise and reward excellence in sustainable energy in business, communities, research, buildings, renewables and the public sector.
Twenty-four applicants across eight categories have been shortlisted, with the winners to be selected by a VIP judging panel in the coming weeks before winners are named at the awards ceremony in mid-October. The successful finalists were chosen for their innovative sustainable energy solutions and for inspiring energy action among colleagues and peers.
“This year, despite the obvious challenges that each of you faced, you continued in your commitment and passion for sustainable energy and climate action” Fergus Sharkey, Head of Business and Public Sector at SEAI, said; “Each year we are blown away by the quality of entries to the SEAI Energy Awards and this year has proved no different. We received 125 entries from businesses, communities, and organisations across the country who are leading the charge, reshaping our communities and businesses, and inspiring each and every one of us through their action.”