Abbeyleix Tidy Towns members at the Entente Florale Europe Judging Picture: Alf Harvey
A Laois community led by the local Tidy Towns group is blazing a trail as one of the first towns in Ireland to draw up a masterplan for sustainable energy.
Abbeyleix Tidy Towns has received funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to become one of the first towns in the country to develop an energy master plan under the Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) programme.
The plan will set out a roadmap for the town’s energy transition by increasing knowledge, getting projects off the ground and aligning suitable initiatives with grant supports.
The idea is that everyone in the community works together to set up a sustainable energy network for the benefit of the community.
This can be achieved from a number of different smaller projects like reducing the energy they use by energy efficiency projects and using renewable energy where possible including a range of energy sources at homes, community centres and sports facilities.
Schools and businesses in the town can also be included in the sustainable energy plan.
Improving social engagement in the community and supporting local jobs is another benefit of the plan. Sustainability means relying on local produce, businesses and community.
The first step in the process is to gather data and gain an understanding of the energy used locally to power and heat local homes, as well as businesses and transport.
In order to gather information about the energy in the town, a short survey was circulated online among residents last month.
The 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) has been appointed as the Tidy Towns group energy specialist consultants to assist them in developing their energy plan.
If you are a homeowner or manager of a commercial or community building with an interest in becoming more energy efficient, the consultants would like to find out more about your energy use.
If you are interested in finding out more about the project, please phone Mark Clancy on 087 2181429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, phone 089 4836363 or email email@example.com.