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News blog19 April 2023

3CEA: Better Energy Communities Grant Programme 2018

 3CEA: Better Energy Communities Grant Programme 2018

In 2018, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) enjoyed one of its busiest years on record helping a growing number of home-owners, businesses, community groups, voluntary housing associations and organisations to reduce their energy costs and achieve energy savings. The works were also supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)’s annual grant programme called Better Energy Communities (BEC). This is a national grant programme aimed at encouraging the delivery of energy savings projects.

In 2018, a total of 41 non-domestic projects were managed and coordinated by 3cea with a mixture of public, private and community projects. All 41 projects were grouped into 5 applications led by the Local Authorities of the midlands and southeast region. 157 domestic houses were also upgraded to meet a minimum BER rating of B2 (>100kWh/m2).

The grants available range from 35% - 50% for domestic works, 30% funding for the public sector, commercial and SME projects and up to 50% for community and not-for-profit groups.

In Ireland, a growing number of home-owners and businesses are availing of energy grant supports and investing in energy efficiency upgrades which will have a positive impact on the environment and climate. It is an encouraging trend a year on from when the former Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency added Wexford to the fold to become 3CEA. The projects completed in 2018 have saved a total of 5.21GWh primary energy, verified using IVMVP standards (completed August 2019).

An example of the energy saving measures carried out include:

  • Internal & external lighting upgrades
  • Wall insulation (external, internal & cavity wall fill)
  • Attic/roof insulation
  • Windows & Doors upgrade
  • Replacement of heating systems
  • Installation of heating control
  • Installation of PV solar panels
  • Beer cooling system upgrades
  • Public Lighting upgrades

Total project investment: €5,960,000 of which €2,175,000 was grant funded. This energy saving equates to a reduction in energy expenditure of more than €429,000 and a reduction in CO2 emissions by 6,474 tonnes.

Better Energy Communities Delivered energy (kwh) Primary Energy (kwh) CO2 Savings (Tonnes)   Total Cost (€)  Grant (€)  Cost after grant (€) Delivered energy (€)
BEC 2018 4,118,253 7,637,584 6,474 €4,369,197 €1,451,248 €2,917,949 €429,371

Apart from energy savings, upgrading the buildings has also seen a significant improvement in both usage and thermal comfort of the buildings. It has been found that a large number of the community buildings are now being used up to 6 times more than previously, with new groups gathering to use the upgraded facilities. Similarly, upgrades to homes have resulted in improved whole-house comfort and an overall increase in health and wellbeing.


Publication date
19 April 2023