Project TypeCommunity Energy
Services InvolvedCommunity Energy,
The Drombane/Upperchurch Energy Project was initiated in 2011 by the Drombane Village Group, which sought to stimulate economic activity within the parish of Drombane/Upperchurch. Following a Home Energy Survey, a local Energy Team was set up which gathered a cluster of interested householders to avail of energy efficiency home improvements funded under the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s pilot Better Energy Scheme in 2012. Tipperary Energy Agency provided technical and other assistance wherever it was needed. Retrofit works were completed on 22 homes and on time, a remarkable achievement considering the time constraints on both contractor and project manager, and the weather conditions!
The scheme was so successful that in 2013, a further 28 homes and 2 community halls were insulated and retrofitted. Bridging Finance was made available by Clann Credo, the social finance organisation. The group were successful in acquiring further funds from SEAI in 2014 and retrofitting continues apace.
• This community is more energy efficient than ever and boast significantly reduced imports of oil and fossil fuels for its energy needs.
• Some 80% of those surveyed would not have completed any energy upgrades except for the community project.
• A significant number of others in the community have gone on to complete energy saving upgrades independently, an outcome of the increased awareness of energy efficiency at a local level.
• The sale of Energy Savings is a great boost to community groups where fundraising is difficult. These funds can be reinvested in other community energy initiatives in the future.
• The Drombane scheme found added benefits in the selection of local contractors to carry out the work.
In summary between 2012 and 2013 a small voluntary community group, in a parish of 1000 people in Tipperary, leveraged a total investment of almost €450,000 by carrying out energy efficiency upgrade work on 50 homes, 2 community halls, including over €100,000 invested by the local community. This activity provided local jobs, reduced the community’s energy use, and increased the flow of money within the community.