Notable energy efficiency upgrade pilot programme for three local schools

Three Athlone schools will benefit from a seven million euro fund targeting energy use reduction by 33 percent, test retrofit solutions and improve efficiency.

Minister of State, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has welcomed the announcement from Education Minister, Joe McHugh, and Communication, Climate Action and Environment Minister, Richard Bruton, that three local schools have been selected for energy efficiency works under a government funded retrofit pilot programme for 2019.

The selected schools for this pilot programme are St Peter’s NS, St. Hilda’s Special School and Cornafulla NS.

Each school was assessed comprehensively to ensure that the measures were suitable for that school and would deliver value to both the school and the pilot. Design teams have been appointed to each cluster, with medium to deep energy efficiency works to be delivered this summer. The upgrades target a 33 percent energy efficiency improvement and involve upgrades to doors and windows, insulation, lighting and heating upgrades as well as renewable technologies.

The newly expanded programme focuses on projects to reduce energy consumption, test retrofit solutions, build capacity and test delivery and procurement models and is jointly funded with a seven million euro budget from the Department of Education and Skills and Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment.

Now in its third year, the aim of the pilot is to create a scalable model for energy efficiency retrofitting of schools. This is taking place in advance of the major programme of retrofits scheduled to commence in 2022, as outlined in Project Ireland 2040. Subject to resources, it is intended to expand the intake of schools in the pilot programme in the lead up to 2022.

Minister Moran thanked Ministers McHugh and Bruton for their support of the scheme, commenting, “this is a great opportunity for the three local schools to be transformed into top rated energy efficient buildings. It is both good for schools and good for the environment.”

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