Sustainable Enniscorthy hosted its second Energy Saving Expo on Wednesday evening on 25 January in the Riverside Hotel. The free event gave people the chance to talk to local suppliers of energy-saving products and services to learn how to save energy and money in their home, transport, business and farm. The event was well attended, the atmosphere relaxed and the feedback positive.
Yugandhar Patil from KRA renewables said “people are concerned about their electricity bills, they know the problem but they don’t know how to fix it”. He was “helping people to understand all the options and empowering them to make the best choices”. They had lots of enquiries about SEAI grants, particularly from homeowners considering home upgrades. KRA are project co-ordinators for the SEAI Communities Energy Grants which provide 30% to 80% funding to homes, businesses or farms depending on the project. KRA, an independent renewable energy and sustainability consultancy, are appointed by Sustainable Enniscorthy to produce an Energy Master Plan for Enniscorthy with funding from SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland). KRA have already carried out a few energy audits in Enniscorthy and they are offering 10% discount on commercial audits to organisations willing to share the information for the Enniscorthy Energy Master Plan.
Scott Hayes from Love Energy Ltd was delighted with the number of people who were genuinely interested in his wind turbines. Scott has a few sites visits planned to discuss the feasibility of a wind turbine installation as a result of the event.
Timmy O’Donovan at K&K Windows said visitors showed good interest in their windows and doors. He advised that the front door is a good starting point for energy saving at home. It is also a good investment, as a good composite door lasts up to 35 years!
Mike Cody from E-volv had “good chats and good conversations” with people and “it’s all about the conversations” referring to the advice, business and networking benefits of the night.
Solar Electric solar PV (photovoltaic) panels were popular again at this Expo. People are really interested in the technology and are getting more educated on solar PV and renewables. Anyone who already has solar PVs wants more, so they advise to choose your PV position carefully and leave space on the roof for more panels. Newer technology is more powerful and produces more energy.
Wexford LEO Local Enterprise Office and Wexford County Council Environment section shared a stand, with Caroline answering queries about LEO’s Green for Micro business supports and getting lots of interest in the Home Energy Saving Kit which is available to borrow from all libraries in Co. Wexford.
Liam Doyle from Doyle Boilers was very pleased with the Expo. He said he got business from the October event and expects the same again this time.
Áine Doyle from Enniscorthy Credit Union was delighted to take part in the Energy Saving Expo again. She was encouraged to see so many local businesses, organisations and people working together to make Enniscorthy sustainable. The credit union plays its part offering a Green Loan with a great rate to help finance energy upgrades.
Thomas McGuire, from the Irish EV (Electric Vehicle) Owners Association, is a long-standing supporter of Sustainable Enniscorthy starting at our first event outdoors on the riverside in September 2021. Thomas has a wealth of knowledge on EVs and had a Wallbox home charger on display to show people what’s involved.
Paul Nolan from Kenny for Bikes found the credit union’s Green Loan fits in nicely with his Bike2Work promotion. Kenny for Bikes are an approved provider of the government-backed Cycle to Work scheme, which allows the tax free purchase of bicycles for those who may use a bike for all or part of their journeys to work, daily or occasionally. Paul describes electric bikes as “the future of our business”, explaining that electric bikes make up 60% of the product range of one of their main suppliers. The electric bike opens up cycling for more people and increases the distance people will travel on a bike.
Jim and Sarah Byrne from JC Byrne Stoves and Fireplaces weren’t expecting as many people at the Expo and got quite a few enquiries. Previous customers dropped by and thanked them for what they’d done, which was lovely to hear. Word of mouth is great and people love the warmth of a stove. Sarah described the power of the 28kW stove in their showroom which heats the showroom and 17 radiators in the house!
Fiona O’Loughlin, SEAI mentor, described the Energy Saving Expo as a very valuable professional networking event. She was impressed by the level of expertise available locally for every aspect of sustainability from reducing costs to increasing comfort with attractive green finance options from the credit union.
Sustainable Enniscorthy would like to thank the Riverside Hotel for hosting the event and all the exhibitors and visitors for taking part in the Energy Saving Expo.
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