Boyle ready to save €6.1 million on energy needs

Energy transition at your doorstep

A survey study carried out by Good Energies Alliance Ireland on household energy uses in Boyle (Co. Roscommon) discovered that the town spends over €4 million on fossil fuels each year. This not only generates local pollution and contributes to the climate crisis, but also cripples the local economy, as this money flows out of it.

GEAI has developed a Powerful Community Pathway for Boyle that shows untapped potential for households to save money by cutting over €6 million off energy costs in five years. At the same time, phasing out from fossil fuels brings several health, social and environmental advantages the community can benefit from. Figure below shows the increasing trend of annual savings for the 2019-2025 time horizon.

This equals to a 41% drop in climate-harmful emissions.

The report demonstrates that a clean and just energy transition is accessible, pays back in the short run and empowered communities can lead it. We are indeed proud to announce that, as a result of GEAI study, Boyle citizens have embarked on a journey to become a Sustainable Energy Community, receiving grants and mentorship from SEAI.

We hope our work can inspire other communities all over Ireland who want to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their standard of living.

Find out more by downloading the report and the key findings in our publication page.

Areas of transition

Households can take a range of actions to save on energy costs. We have grouped them into four areas.

Here are a few examples of actions below, check the full list in the report. 

Knowledge
To kickstart realistic transition we need to know more about our energy use: tracking energy costs, switching energy suppliers for better rates and keeping an eye on grants available.
Transport
Reduce car journeys and increase public transport use, when possible, and eventually switch to electric vehicles.
Houses
Get a Building Energy Rating (BER) of your home and consider insulation works as a good start, followed by installing renewable energy systems on-site.
Community
Community engagement is the driving force of the transition. Without a collective effort the transition is unlikely to escalate.

Main figures

The average households spends €4,513 per year for its energy needs (heating + electricity + transport). Only 8.6% of that is spent on renewable energy.

Even though thermal energy costs account for just 30% of the total, thermal energy has the largest climate impact share, at 54% of the total carbon emissions. This is due to high reliance on oil and solid fuels for heating purposes, which are “cheap” emitters of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, electricity has the highest carbon content per unit of energy (kgCO2 per kWh produced), due to the national electric grid running for the major part on natural gas.

Transport energy, at 31%, has the second largest impact, due to dominance of privately-owned diesel and petrol cars (6 cars for every 10 residents).

The Household Energy Survey

This study has been managed by GEAI and carried out by European Erasmus+ volunteers with IT Sligo technical support.

In order to obtain the energy profile of the typical Boyle household, a doorstep survey was designed and administered to over 100 households in town, representing 10% of the total population. The survey included details of house age and characteristics, types of energy used, monthly or annual expenditure on electricity, heating and transport.

European volunteers taking a respondent answers

Once the data were collected and analyzed, a transition scenario to 2025 was developed, based on the transition areas and actions described above.  The results were presented to Boyle community at an “Energy Challenge” seminar.

We are currently considering replication of the project in other towns in Ireland and partnership in Europe.


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Boyle Energy Challenge Seminar

Our Boyle Energy Seminar took place Monday 17th June at the Boyle Community College. After conducting energy surveys in April and May for the households of Boyle, we finally presented the results of the amount of energy, money and CO2 emissions that the town accounts for. The numbers were shocking, as it was estimated that Boyle spends 4.1 million for heating, transport and electricity and emits 11,100 tonnes CO2 per year.

In order to create a more sustainable energy use model for Boyle, a Community Transition Roadmap was composed, simulating action throughout four improvement areas: Knowledge, Houses, Transport and Community. Different grants and opportunities were presented, related to insulation, electric vehicles, renewable power production, deep retrofitting and much more.

Members of GEAI, IT Sligo and Clár I.C.H. gave interesting presentations and the evening finished with interactive workshops.

Seminar slides

Boyle Household Energy Survey planned for April

Boyle Energy Survey

A major survey will be carried out in Boyle this week to see how residents use energy for heating, lighting, cooking and transport. This is being organised by Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI), who are working with IT Sligo and SEAI to see how support can be given to the town to become more sustainable, with greater energy efficiency, smaller bills and warmer homes. We are all spending a fortune in energy and not getting the best results from it, while at the same time producing thousands of tons of carbon dioxide and damaging the atmosphere. This survey will pinpoint how people in Boyle source energy, how much they are using, and how much it costs.

GEAI volunteers are working in collaboration with Abbey Community College and the goal is to survey 10% of the houses in Boyle. Teams of surveyors with local pupils will call to homes in the evenings of the first week of April with a questionnaire and hopefully, residents will be happy to cooperate.

This survey is completely confidential, we do not ask for names and no personal details will be kept. People will be amazed at how much in spent on energy in the town! We will present the results of the survey at a Seminar towards the end of May where we can come together and make plans for better energy efficiency, while reducing our carbon footprint and availing of substantial financial and mentoring supports from SEAI and other organisations. During this event, we will also show how Boyle can become a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) with access to new funding programmes.

 

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