One hundred and seventy-nine Limerick City and County Council owned homes will now be warmer and more energy efficient this Christmas thanks to a joint programme run by the Council and SSE Airtricity.
The Energy Efficiency Upgrade programme is a Government initiative, part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regional Operational Programme in which local authorities and energy companies partner up to provide energy upgrades to Council-owned housing stock.
All housing stock upgraded are brought up to a BER Rating of B2.
As part of the Limerick City and County Council/ SSE Airtricity partnership, a total of 179 homes have been upgraded over the past two years.
The homes are located across all of the six local electoral areas, with at least 25 homes upgraded in each one.
The project involved a deep retrofit of each individual home to ensure the minimum BER standard was achieved, while it also allowed Limerick City and County Council to carry out other non-energy related improvements at the same time, thus reducing the inconvenience to tenants.
The level of work required was determined by the condition of each individual house and were divided into two categories:
- External wall insulation
- New windows and doors
- Attic insulation
- New fascia & soffit
- Heat pump heating systems
- Mechanical extract ventilation systems
- New condensing gas boilers
- Upgrade of heating control systems
- Replacement radiators
- Installation of PV panels
- Insulated hot water cylinders
- Smoke and Carbon monoxide alarms
- Positive input ventilation
Non Energy Works
- Kitchen replacement
- Bathroom repairs
- Cooker replacement
- Garden fencing repairs
- Drainage repairs
- Plumbing repairs
- Footpath installation\repair
- Gates and boundary wall repairs
- Roof repairs
- Floor repairs\replacement
- Lighting replacement
- Electrical checks
The outcome of this project so far is that homes are more energy efficient as heat is retained for longer periods due to the increased amounts of insulation installed. In addition, costs associated with oil and solid fuels have been eliminated, thus providing additional savings to tenants. Improved air quality due to new mechanical ventilation systems means all around the homes are more comfortable to live in and cost efficient to run. This in turn helps both the tenants and the Council alike to achieve their aims in reducing energy usage as part of Climate Action policies.
Welcoming the completion of this phase of the project, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler said: “This is a very important project that the Council is involved in. We must provide the highest quality standards and maintenance for our housing stock, so that our tenants can be warm and comfortable and help improve their mental and physical wellbeing.
“Retrofitting homes to the highest energy efficiency standards will help to make a significant contribution to a low carbon transition while also providing warmth and comfort to the people of Limerick. We are all aware of the challenges and dangers that Climate Change currently poses so it is imperative that we look to all possible solutions to reduce carbon emissions and improve the way we live and work. I would like to thank SSE Airtricity for working with us on this project and for their long term partnership with us.
“This partnership approach has proved to be hugely effective and beneficial, and I am encouraging the Government to continue to provide funding for this Programme into the future.”
Will O’Shaughnessy, Head of Business Development and Major Projects with SSE Airtricity said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Limerick City and County Council on this fantastic project that will see many homes retrofitted to the highest standards of energy efficiency. These upgrades will provide improved living standards for many residents throughout Limerick and provide warmth and comfort through the winter, as well as helping to improve their wellbeing. We continue to work with our partners here in Limerick and across Ireland providing efficient and cost-effective green energy solutions; and supporting them on the efforts that will help us achieve Ireland’s ambitious climate target targets and net zero carbon emissions should be climate action targets.”
Limerick City and County Council is confident additional funding from central government will be provided for the upgrade of additional Council owned homes next year.