Positive Energy Champions 2021

The Positive Energy Champions will enable the clean energy transition of Limerick by taking Positive Energy Actions and by sharing their knowledge and experiences with their communities and fellow citizens. A small change, when made by many, can have a big impact! Follow their progress over the next 20 weeks and take inspiration on how you too can join Limerick’s transition to being a Positive Energy City by 2050.

Track their progress on Twitter on Smart_Limerick.

The Positive Energy Champions Campaign is being run in collaboration with the University of Limerick and +Cityxchange partners.

Cathy Chappell - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Cathie Chappell

I have been living and working in Co. Limerick since 1976. When I arrived, I joined the Limerick Women’s Action Group and was a founder member of the Limerick Rape Crisis Centre, was a Co-ordinator in the Limerick Family Planning Clinic for 20 years, and was involved in setting up the Limerick Educate Together Project School, where my two sons attended. I drive an electric car, which I use to get in and out of Limerick (about 20k away), but feel unable at present to make longer journeys due to the lack of charging points in the country. I would like to monitor this, and hopefully see an improvement in this infrastructure. With my husband, I am in the process of buying a house in Limerick City, with a view to moving there when we are ready to downsize and we would be interested in retrofitting the house, as well as exploring using public transport and the GoCar service.

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Clive Finlay - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Clive Finlay

Westcap is a property development company focused on the Limerick Georgian Quarter area, delivering modern, energy efficient, stylish apartments. Our ethos is that protecting the heritage of each building is a long-term investment. All of our apartments are Planning Compliant, New Fire Certification, Conservation Compliant, A3 BER Rated. The apartments that we develop are unique; the unique heritage is embraced and combined with modern finishes and technology to create a truly unique living environment, in the heart of the city.

Over the next twenty weeks we will deliver eight A3 rated one bed apartments to be completed in September 2021. In 2022, we hope to bring to the market a number of 1 & 2 Bed apartments, specifically targeting the First Time Buyer market. We will demonstrate that high quality, energy efficient housing can be developed in the Georgian Neighbourhood and thereby encourage owner-occupiers and re-establish Limerick’s Georgian Neighbourhood as a great place to live.

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Aoife McKeon - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Aoife McKeon

My name is Aoife, I am an Industrial Biochemist working in Process Science in a Limerick biopharmaceutical company. I am part of the green team there and have learned about energy efficiency technology and helped on projects. My family own Abbey River Coffee in Limerick City, we have worked on environmental initiatives and hope to spread awareness through those. I have made lifestyle changes to reduce my personal impact on the environment, as well as researching the social issues associated with negative changes to the environment.
As a part of the +CityxChange program, I am arranging a guest talk at my workplace. I will also use the Space Engagers community-mapping tool with a group of interested parties gathered through the above-mentioned networks. I hope to encourage impactful individual change with the aim of raising awareness about the aim to become a Smart City, by connecting like-minded people in Limerick to help fight the climate crisis.

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Jennifer Tierney - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Jennifer Tierney

I will be sharing my experience of making the move to an electric car. I live in Terryglass, Tipperary and work in the Georgian Neighbourhood in Limerick. Before the pandemic I was commuting full time and had a massive carbon foot print. The commute was also costing me €75 a week in petrol. My two reasons for making this change; to reduce my carbon emissions and the second reason is financial. Although electric cars are more expensive to buy, they are massively cheaper to run. Not only are the running cost lower but they also have cheaper Road Tax, Insurance and servicing costs. I will be looking at this change as an Investment both financially and environmentally. I am eager to share the journey of my transition to an EV and all it involves and hope that by doing so I can inspire people in a similar position so that they to can make the change.

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Bill Kelly - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Bill Kelly

I'm Bill Kelly, Community Engagement Manager with Community Power. We are partnering with The Urban Coop and Clean Tech Energy Ltd this summer to take part in the +CityxChange Open Call.

Our project 'Greening the Grid aims to energise the citizenry of Limerick City to become actively involved in the energy transition, via hands-on participation in short term energy prosumer projects involving food production in the Georgian district and it’s environs - growing food in an EMS enabled microgrid. The project provides practical pathways for ordinary citizens, possessing no background in the energy sector, to become active participants in the energy transition. The project focuses on awareness raising and education, of the Limerick city population, of tools at our collective disposal to enable everyone to engage in the decarbonisation of society and the economy. Furthermore, it provides a means to enable our citizenry to catalyse change at local, municipal and national level - in the democratisation of the energy sector.
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Grainne McInerney - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Grainne McInerney

Owner and occupier of a building on Catherine Street in Limerick. I aim to improve the energy usage in the Georgian quarter in a realistic way that is sustainable and economically feasible for my building and hopefully share the learnings with others by trialling an option to harness waste heat energy from the ground floor café of my building and use it in the apartments above. A significant portion of buildings in Georgian Limerick have commercial units below, all of which generate heat from their operations. However it seems that in nearly every commercial unit you see the waste energy isn’t harnessed. If this could be changed with simple technology and infrastructure this in my view could significantly reduce energy costs for Georgian city dwellers. Researching options and monitoring over the next 20 weeks is how I hope to complete the first steps of this project.

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Anne Cronin - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Anne Cronin

I represent the Limerick Cycle Bus - a voluntary group of parents and children that cycle to and from school each day from the northside of the city. We aim to highlight the need for safe segregated connected infrastructure for cyclists of all ages in Limerick. Changing to bike for these small daily trips will make a huge difference to carbon emissions around our schools. It will reduce air pollution outside our schools and incorporate daily exercise into the children’s routine. We hope to achieve this by asking schools/ families with an interest in cycling to school to map their route from home to school - indicating hazards along that route. The cycle bus will work with Space Engagers to identify an easy app where this data can be uploaded and used to inform the local authority and the new active travel unit - that routes need to be made safer.
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Andrew O'Connell - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Andrew O'Connell

Founded in 1901, St. Michael's Rowing Club is one of Ireland's Premier Rowing Clubs, with over 400 members catering for oarspeople of all ages in the heart of Limerick. This summer will see the club become more sustainable with the installation of PV panels to power the club house as well as demonstrating how solar power can be utilised to charge launches and power training events on the river. We’re looking forward to installing the new PV Panels and making a move away from petrol usage to clean energy in our Club. There is huge potential for St. Michael’s in harnessing the river to power our launches and the clubhouse in a clean and sustainable way. We hope this can become a model for sports clubs across Limerick.
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David O'Connor - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

David O'Connor

As Limerick City and County Council Facilities Manager, I have a keen interest in Energy Management and since taking up my role with Limerick City and County Council I’ve joined the Energy Management Team who meet every two months to monitor energy use and look for ways to reduce same across all of the Council's business units. As part of my role I work closely with our partners O’Connor Maintenance and Limerick Clare Energy Agency to identify suitable energy projects which will inform and reduce consumption across the Limerick City and County Council’s property portfolio. An example is where we recently installed Smart Energy Meters (Gas and Electric) at our City Centre and Dooradoyle offices, these meters provide real time data on energy patterns and will inform how we can implement changes to reduce usage and peak demand in future. I’m excited to have been selected as a Positive Energy Champion and will aim to build on the great work done in Limerick City and County Council to date to meet our obligations around energy management and reducing our carbon footprint.

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Siobhan O'Reilly - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Siobhan O'Reilly

Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA) is delighted to take part in the +CityxChange Positive Energy Champion Campaign this summer. LCGA is located in the historic Carnegie Building on the grounds to the People's Park in the heart of Limerick’s Georgian Quarter. Although the building has had several renovations for the last thirty years, challenges remain around the ventilation and heating of the building and there are undoubtable many changes we can make to increase the sustainability of the Gallery. We are working with +CityxChange partners Integrated Environmental Solutions IES, using their modelling platform to get a better understanding of how the building uses energy and what steps we can take to become more energy efficient in the future.
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Patricia Roberts - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Patricia Roberts

Owner of award winning Georgian boutique townhouse hotel, restaurant and organic spa, No 1 Pery Square. A restored 1800’s Georgian house tucked away in Limericks historic leafy Georgian quarter. A house passionate about delivering genuine Irish hospitality, great food & wine. Referred to by many as “ their country house in the city”. Passion for great Irish food produce, culture and the protection of our historic buildings. Board member of the Restaurants Association of Ireland. What I hope to achieve by been a positive energy champion is to educate my team on the overall benefits to the business and the environment and gain active participation and create many energy champions here at No 1. To promote internal awareness and a willingness to challenge each other how best to achieve our goal. Manage energy usage effectively and reduce business energy costs and to demonstrate the positive effect of the reduction on the environment to employees and customers.

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Mark Manning - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Mark Manning

SmartSystems is an Internet of Things (IoT) company based in Limerick. We’re predominantly focused on the commercial building sector where we install battery operated sensors which access data metrics from the building around the environment (Fire, Flood, Mission Critical Machines, Gas etc.). In exchange for this data we arrange a % reduction in the Insurance premium associated with the building for stakeholders of the location. As we’re based in No 3 The Crescent, Limerick we hope to lower the energy costs associated with the building by monitoring the energy usage of the building, and its constituent parts, for the duration of 20 weeks in conjunction with the Positive Energy Champions Initiative. All of the data we collect from the building will be publicly available where we hope to show a sustained reduction in energy usage for the medium and long term.
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Una Walsh - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Una Walsh

My plan as a Positive Energy Champion is to empower communities. I believe the only way we can achieve our aims of reducing our carbon footprint in Limerick City is to empower people to join. To make a change the only way is to start from the bottom up, a grass-roots initiative. It is in this way we can truly make a real, genuine impact. I want to encourage community members to map their local area, gather evidence to identity instances in their own day to days that could be carried out in a more sustainable way. I also want to encourage the installation of further TFI bike stations in Ballinacurra, near the Crescent Shopping Centre and Dooradoyle, to encourage a more carbon-friendly way of travelling around Limerick City.

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Nell Ward - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Nell Ward

Peter McVerry Trust are a homeless and housing charity, working across Limerick city and county to provide pathways out of homelessness. The charity support people to move into a home of their own, providing an ongoing Housing With Supports service to help people to develop life skills, build confidence and work towards independent living and social integration. Ultimately, our Housing With Supports team are focused on helping people to sustain their tenancy and ensure that people do not re-enter homelessness. Through the Limerick Positive Energy Champions initiative, we hope to identify and implement actions and changes that will help us to provide and manage more energy efficient homes, that in turn support cost effective living for our tenants. This would include initiatives to help ensure that social housing can be a leader in energy efficiency. For our clients, it would mean reducing energy costs, and also increasing awareness amongst our clients of the impact they themselves can help deliver.

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Tom Spillane - CityxChange Positive Energy Champion

Tom Spillane

I am a Limerick native, who is passionate about the environment, and I have a great grá for the city. I enjoy active modes of transport, and I have a great interest in transport, in general. I will be examining the current transport system that exists within Limerick, and trying to mould new forms of active transport into the system. For example, I’m particularly interested in the potential electric bikes could hold for the city. I’m going to explore purchasing an e-bike myself, and my research should give me further insight into any potential cost factors, that could exist. I would like to contribute to the successful roll out of car sharing which has huge potential benefits for the city. I’m going to test car sharing in one of GoCar’s EVs that will be available for hire in Limerick City in the near future and share my experience as part of the campaign.

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