Birdhill Energy Team
November 19, 2018
In your own words, tell us about your project.
Each year our team holds a Road Show where we involve contractors from previous years, BER assessors, householders who have availed of the grants previously, Credit Union staff & demonstrations of new technology.
From the initial work in Birdhill in the first year, the feedback was very positive. The local Community Hall completed works involving attic insulation, zoned heating, boiler flushing, new windows & doors and LED lighting. The comfort that ensued from those works has increased the use of the Hall for activities & has thus increased revenue generation - a win-win. The chat amongst locals about the changes resulted in conversations about energy efficiency in homes & the benefits to both pocket & person.
Why did you do this work?
Many of us were involved in sustainability through the Tidy Towns Committee & also in our personal lives & knew we could assist householders interested in making their homes energy efficient.
We knew we had the capabilities to support householders interested in partaking by:
- Our availability within the community
- Passing on knowledge on how to reduce energy costs
- Outlining the smaller cost actions householders can take e.g. letterbox draught excluders, radiator reflectors, LED lighting, reducing thermostats etc.
- Discretion exercised when householders are availing of grants
- Offering advice & answers to questions in private
- Preparing the documentation for grants
- Liaising with assigned local contractors
- Problem solving any hurdles
What was the impact or outcome of your project?
- In the past 5 years, the co-operative has retrofitted over 600 homes & community buildings with the spend in excess of €6 million & saved almost 4 million kilowatts.
- Householders involved at the beginning have been our greatest advocates. They have made their homes available for viewing especially those where newer technology was used e.g. one community member installed a wood log gasification boiler while others had external insulation fitted. It is much easier to convince people of the merits of an energy saving measure when they can see it in action.
- Our involvement in the co-operative has allowed us to do the following:
- Install solar lights in the Community Park, Information Kiosk & Children’s Playhouse
- Purchase 10 Energy Monitors for free hire in the Community
- Replacement of dilapidated street furniture with recycled plastic seating
Do you have any tips or advice for similar projects?
- Start with small ideas & build slowly
- Try to engage the local schools
- Partner with other groups who have similar goals e.g. Tidy Towns, Men's Sheds, Housing Co-operatives/Charities, GIY, Green Businesses etc
- Talk to other groups who have done similar schemes as this will save making some mistakes
Be sure to remember Word of Mouth is critical!