County Monaghan Sustainable Energy Community (SEC), supported by Monaghan Integrated Development (MID), launched their Energy Master Plan (EMP) for County Monaghan at the Íontas Arts & Community Resource Centre, Castleblayney on Tuesday 20th September.
 
Gabriel O’Connell, CEO of MID, pictured speaking at the launch.

The EMP establishes the baseline of energy use in the county, identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption, to become more energy efficient, and the plan recommends a range of activities to promote the uptake of Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grants to make homes more energy efficient. The report recommends targeted community engagement including hosting information clinics and events. A necessary step to promote the uptake of home energy efficiency measures was identified; providing information on the grants available and supporting homeowners with their grant application.

‘Residential Energy accounts for over 53% of total energy consumed in the county, Monaghan has a higher proportion of householders using oil as the main source of heating, 64% v’s 37% nationally. If Monaghan is to do its bit to meet the national targets as set out in the Climate Action Plan by 2030 it requires 700 homes upgrading to B2 annually and 561 homes installing a heat pump annually in County Monaghan. Presently 82% of houses in Monaghan have a C1 or lower BER rating, so we have a long way to go in meeting the 2030 targets’ states Julie Clarke, Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) Development Officer at MID who organised the launch and energy expo.

‘Poultry is the most energy intensive, farming activity, in the County with 240 farms followed by diary with 707 farms. Heating fuel, kerosene, accounts for the highest (49%) form of energy consumption on Monaghan farms’ notes Dawn Murphy of Action Renewables, who completed the study. In the Agriculture sector, the need to encourage the uptake of the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine’s Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS) to modernise farm buildings, equipment and PV installation in all agricultural sectors was identified. Similarly, the need to encourage the uptake of the SEAI Support Scheme for Renewable Heating Systems (SSRH) for the installation of biomass renewable heating systems in poultry, pigs and mushroom production to reduce costs and CO2 emissions was also highlighted.

‘County Monaghan SEC is one of 700 SEC’s across the country, 70 of these groups have successfully completed their Energy Master Plans to-date and 130 more are underway’ Susan Richardson from SEAI congratulated County Monaghan SEC on the completion of their EMP. The County Monaghan SEC formed in 2020 when MID brought a range of stakeholders together (Irish Farmers' Association - IFA, Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board - CMETB, Dundalk Institute of Technology - DKIT, Teagasc, Monaghan County Council, MID, South West College - SWC and Transition Monaghan) to begin work on developing an Energy Master Plan for the County. The SEC group secured funding from SEAI to complete the plan which focuses on the residential and agricultural sectors.
 
FREE HOME ENERY EXPO

Following the EMP Launch, the MID SICAP Team hosted a FREE HOME ENERGY EXPO in the foyer of the Íontas Centre attracting over 80 homeowners. The event presented attendees with ways to make their homes more energy efficient with a breakdown and further information of the various SEAI grants available to support this by Mel Gavin from the Atlantic Technological University (ATU). Homeowners also had access to information and advice on applying for the SEAI Warmer Homes Scheme (from CMETB & SICAP), One Stop Shops Grants (from Kore Insulation), and Individual Home Grants (from County Monaghan SEC & ATU) while Aisling of the Citizens Information Service answered queries about Fuel Allowance eligibility which is one of the qualifying social welfare payments to apply for the Warmer Homes Scheme.

To find out more about the SEAI grants, visit www.monaghansec.ie.
 
Click on the link to download and or view a copy of the Energy Master Plan, or telephone Margaret at MID on 042 9749500 (0) for further information.