Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Fossil fuels or solar powered heating?

Where does YOUR energy go?

Fossil fuels are derivatives of plant and animal fossils that are million of years old. These are primarily formed from the remains of the decayed plants and animals. The three fuel sources coal, natural gas and oil help to meet the energy and electricity demands of today’s world.  Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources. Their supply is limited so they will eventually run out. Fossil fuels do not renew themselves, while fuels such as wood can be renewed endlessly.

Pollution is a major disadvantage that is formed due to fossil fuels as they release carbon dioxide when they burn, which adds to the greenhouse effect and increases global warming.  Coal and oil release sulphor  dioxide gas when they burn, which causes breathing problems for living creatures and contributes to acid rain.

You Choose!

Chooseday's Choice

Fossil fuels or solar?

Solar Thermal: Combining solar collectors with a wood burning stove provides an ideal year-round renewable energy heating solution. A solar collector system in Ireland can produce 60% – 70% of the annual DHW requirement and up to 100% of the hot water requirement during the summertime. Solar panels are effective throughout the year as they utilize diffuse light and not just direct sunlight – this is especially true for evacuated tube collectors.

Solar energy can also be used for space heating in conjunction with low temperature applications such as under floor heating systems and high efficiency radiators. If the solar panels are correctly sized, the solar energy system can produce up to 40% of the annual heating load as well as producing 60% – 70% of the hot water load.

Using renewable sources of energy like wood and solar energy to heat our homes reduces our reliance on polluting, imported fossil fuels like oil and coal.

What is your preferred choice for heating and why?

Better Energy Communities Pilot 2012 – Open for Applications

This is an exciting new pilot programme that SEAI is delighted to launch in order to stimulate the delivery of innovative energy efficiency projects in communities and other areas.

Energy efficiency

The Better Energy Programme is Ireland’s national upgrade programme to retrofit our building stock and facilities to high standards of energy efficiency, there by reducing fossil fuel use, running costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The purpose of this call is to support and pilot innovative delivery approaches at a community level. With a fund of €3M, the pilot projects will test new approaches to achieving high quality and efficient delivery of improvements in energy efficiency within Irish communities.

This call, in supporting pilot projects at a community level, is specifically seeking to test innovative and pioneering partnerships for delivery between for example, the public and private sectors, domestic and non-domestic sectors, commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Other solutions to delivering energy savings within a community that leverage existing resources are also invited.

The call is open to

  • Participating Energy Suppliers
  • Public sector, including local authorities
  • Community-based organisations (CBOs) that have an established service for delivering the required measures; or other community type organisations.
  • Private sector
  • Voluntary organisations

A grant application can also be made by a nominated project co-ordinator, such co-ordination may be by an energy supply company or their designated delivery partner acting in partial fulfilment of its energy saving target.

Individual organisations and co-ordinators are permitted to submit several different applications for support but projects should be bundled where appropriate.

Eligible ptojects

The call is open to projects and related initiatives in the community spanning multiple sectors and focusing on energy efficiency in buildings, business, facilities and transport sectors, and allowing for additional installation of integrated renewable energy technologies and infrastructure.

Eligible Measures.

Eligible measures will prioritise energy efficiency retrofits and can include elements of renewable energy where appropriate. Measures proposed should demonstrate how they will deliver the Community concept in the wider community, social and policy structures.

Level of support available

A fund of €3m is available for allocation to projects on a competitive basis, for investment actions comprising individual or packaged measures, aimed at achieving on-going and lasting energy savings.

Grant support is available for qualifying projects and the level of funding will be related to the innovation in terms of delivery, technology and energy savings proposed under the project. Funding will be allocated based on an assessment of each individual project application, considered against the evaluation criteria outlined and taking account of other sources of funding leveraged.

Eligible costs

The eligible costs are the direct costs incurred in the delivery of the project.

  • Purchase of plant, machinery or equipment in the product/ technology categories listed on the ‘Triple E’ register
  • VAT associated if it is not reclaimable

Non Eligible Costs

  •  Any costs not directly related to improving sustainable energy performance through the proposed project
  • Ongoing monitoring costs
  • Internal staff costs
  • Any costs to bring process or facilities up to standards required
  • Any costs that are incurred prior to formal grant approval – no matter what they relate to – are ineligible and will not be paid.


For further information see the following links:

Better Energy Communities – 2012 Application Guide.pdf (size 280 KB)

Better Energy Communities Pilot Application Form.pdf (size 166.4 KB)

Or alternatively if you have a project in mind which you think might be suitable please contact Paula Butler who is the  main contact person in SEAI and can be contacted at or 01 8082094.

Closing date for applications is 14th September 2012.

‘Connect with Energy’ initiative – Monday 11th – Friday 15th June 2012

South Dublin County Council are hosting  ‘Connect with Energy’,  an event aimed at providing advice and support to homes and businesses on how to save energy and money as well as create new job opportunities. The event is supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE).

With the purpose of supporting and engaging South Dublin homeowners, businesses, schools and other stakeholders in reducing their energy costs, saving money and creating jobs, SDCC is hosting a ‘Connect with Energy’ initiative from Monday 11th to Friday 15th June 2012 in ‘The Big Picture’ exhibition venue in Tallaght Town Centre, located beside the LUAS red line terminus.

This initiative will comprise an interactive energy centre in the Council’s ‘Big Picture’ multimedia venue; suppliers of energy related goods and services in the County will be available to meet with business people, homeowners, individuals interested in learning more about how they can save money on energy consumption within their businesses, workplaces, homes and other premises.

5kW Windturbine – residential, farm and commercial applications

The ‘Connect with Energy’ initiative will be launched on the morning of Monday 11th June 2012. Minister Pat Rabbitte, Mayor Caitríona Jones and County Manager, Philomena Poole will launch the event.

The event has been organised as part of SDCC’s commitment to acting as a focal point for energy efficiency and is also represented by current involvement in a range of energy projects and initiatives. The two major programmes currently being undertaken by SDCC are the EU Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) funded Leadership for Energy Action and Planning (LEAP) project and the Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Programme supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The (LEAP) project has a two year timescale and involves SDCC and eight other local authority partners across the EU. LEAP aims to increase the ability of EU local authorities to act as mentors in the promotion of sustainable energy measures in the local economy and so take a leading role in the move towards a low-carbon local economy. The key output of LEAP is the preparation of a countywide, cross sectoral Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which will include a series of short, medium and long term actions addressing energy in South Dublin County to 2020 and beyond.

Solar Photovoltaic

The ‘Connect with Energy’ event is a key milestone in that process. The event will also showcase SDCC’s own track record in piloting and developing sustainable energy measures.

Following a competitive bid process, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) designated Tallaght as one of three new exemplar Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) in Ireland. This programme, to operate for a five year period from the beginning of 2012, aims to develop a series of Irish communities as ‘living laboratories’ to establish a culture of energy innovation, by carrying out locally focused projects to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

Solar Thermal

The week long ‘Connect with Energy’ event will comprise exhibitions and targeted workshops. Energy advisers for homes and businesses will also be available during the event. A full programme of events will be advertised in the SDCC area during the coming weeks. All workshops and consultations will be registered events.

Mayor Caitríona Jones has welcomed the announcement of the event as an opportunity for local businesses and homeowners to become more energy efficient and reduce their energy costs. This will improve business competitiveness and job creation in South Dublin.

Energy Efficiency

Further information is available from the South Dublin Energy Team  or 01 4149000 ext. 2389 or go to website and follow link for Connect with Energy.

Click here to view or download the ‘Connect with Energy’ Brochure

To register for one of the free workshops, click on its title in calendar below: A description of each workshop is contained in each individual registration page.


Monday11th June Tuesday12th June Wednesday13th June Thursday14th June Friday 15th June
Venue A (Big Picture)
09 .00 -10.00 Official Launch Eco Evolution‘Renewable Energy technologies: Wind, Solar, Hydro.. Power Perfector‘After initial staff training & behavioural savings have been achieved how to achieve further energy/ cost savings’.
10.30 – 11.30 Official Launch Power Perfector‘Voltage Power Optimisation: The Opportunities for Businesses’ Carillion Energy Services            ‘The energy efficient home’ Carillion      Energy Services ‘Reduce Your Home Energy Costs’ AVA SafelightSafeLight: Stand Alone Self Sufficient Street Lighting
12.00 – 13.00 Cylon‘Realtime Energy Management: The Benefits for your Business’ Cylon‘Realtime Energy Management: The Benefits for your Business’ Bord Gais ‘Energy at Home – Benefits of Heating Controls’ Integrated Engineering Consultancy Ltd‘How to Reduce Business Cost in Lighting & Heating? Windsor Motors ‘Electric Cars – going much further for far less with the Nissan Leaf’
14.00 – 15.00 Windsor Motors ‘Electric Cars – going much further for far less with the Nissan Leaf’ Save Energy 4 You ‘Light Years Ahead’ Windsor Motors‘Electric Cars – going much further for far less with the Nissan Leaf’ B & Q‘Do it yourself: B&Q’s low cost energy measures at home’
16.00 – 17.00 SDCC‘A Council grapples with energy’ SDCC‘Valhalla Housing – Approaching Passiv’ SDCC‘Building Refurbishment : Achieving Value, Economies and Performance from Energy Retrofit’ SDCC‘Ballyroan Library: A Passiv-standard civic building’
Monday11th June Tuesday12th June Wednesday13th June Thursday14th June Friday 15th June
Venue B (Tallaght Library)
09.30 – 10.30 B & Q‘Do it yourself: B&Q’s low cost energy measures at home’
10.30 – 11.30
10.45 – 11.45 Bord Gais‘Carbon Monoxide Safety at Home’
12.00 – 13.00
12.30 – 13.30 B & Q‘Do it yourself: B&Q’s low cost energy measures at home’
16.15 – 17.15 Power Perfector‘SMEs: De-risking investment in energy conservation measures (ECM)’
16.30 – 17.30 Tallaght IT & CylonThe future of Energy Management Learn to improve building energy efficiency16.30 to 19.00Please note venue: Main Campus, Tallaght IT Save Energy 4 U:Light years ahead
17.30 – 18.30

Looking forward to meeting you at the exhibition and at our workshop.

Update to Accelerated Capital Allowance for Energy Efficient Equipment and Triple E Register

solar photovoltaic and wind

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have just completed the following improvements to the Triple E programme. The following technologies have been added to the Triple E product register: Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal and Inverters.

SEAI have also revised the following criteria to allow products to be submitted under the Microgen programme: Wind Turbine Systems, Photovoltaic Systems and Co-generation.

Unfortunately in this recent update they did not include hydro. Hopefully we will see this added in the next update!

Products can now be submitted for consideration under the new technology headings. Equipment suppliers and manufacturers who want to submit eligible equipment to the ACA can do so through the online process.  The next submission round will close Friday 19th August 5.00pm

Overview of Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA):

The ACA is a tax incentive for companies paying corporation tax and aims to encourage investment in energy efficient equipment. The ACA offers an attractive incentive whereby it allows companies to write off 100% of the purchase value of qualifying energy efficient equipment against their profit in the year of purchase.

This  incentive relates to the provision of certain energy-efficient equipment for use in a company’s trade  and the equipment must be included in the list of energy-efficient equipment approved by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in order to qualify under the scheme.

The energy-efficient equipment must be new. It must meet certain energy-efficient criteria and must fall within one of the  10 different equipment categories and 52 associated technologies.

A company is required to incur a minimum amount of expenditure on providing the equipment and this varies with the particular category to which the product belongs.

There is no requirement to obtain approval for expenditure on the energy-efficient equipment.

The normal self-assessment provisions apply. Once a company meets all of the required conditions, it can claim the allowance for the accounting period in which the equipment was first provided and used for the trade provided that the equipment is included on the published list at some stage during that accounting period. The allowance should be claimed on the company’s return of income (form CT1) and should be included along with any other wear and tear allowances for machinery and plant. A dedicated entry for this allowance is included in the CT1 return under the heading “Trading Results”.

Overview of the ACA equipment categories and eligibility criteria:

Equipment Category Minimum expenditure (for ACA incentive)* Technology& associated criteria Date Criteria last updated
Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) €5,000 Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) 28.09.2009
Lighting €3,000 Lighting Units 27.09.2010
Lighting Controls 11.10.2010
Motors and Drives €1,000 AC Induction Motors 27.09.2010
Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) 28.09.2009
Permanent Magnet Motors 23.06.2010
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) €1,000 Rack Mounted Servers 27.09.2010
Enterprise Storage Equipment 10.05.2010
Precise Cooling 28.09.2009
Centralised Direct Current Power Distribution 28.09.2009
Power Management 28.09.2009
Uninterruptible Power Supply 28.09.2009
Blade Servers 23.06.2010
ICT Communications 23.06.2010
ICT Optimisation Solutions 23.06.2010
Heating and Electricity Provision €1,000 Co-generation 25.07.2011
Wind Turbines 25.07.2011
Boilers and Hot Water Heaters 27.09.2010
Localised Steam Generators 28.09.2009
Stationary Fuel Cell Power Systems 28.09.2009
Photovoltaic Systems 25.07.2011
Boiler Controls 28.09.2009
Condensate Recovery Systems 17.12.2009
Steam Systems 28.09.2009
Biomass Boilers 27.09.2010
Inverters 25.07.2011
Solar Thermal Collectors 25.07.2011
Process and Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) Control Systems €1,000 HVAC Zone Control 28.09.2009
Heat Exchangers 27.09.2010
Pumps 28.09.2009
Hydraulic Power Recovery Turbine 28.09.2009
Blowers 28.09.2009
Fans 28.09.2009
Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles €1,000 Electric Vehicles and Associated Charging Equipment 28.09.2009
Alternative Energy Vehicle Conversions 28.09.2009
Catering and Hospitality €1,000 Commercial Dishwashers 18.06.2010
Commercial Laundry Dryer 18.06.2010
Commercial Combination Ovens 18.06.2010
Commercial Laundry Washer 23.06.2010
Water Boilers 04.06.2010
Electromechanical Systems €1,000 Electrical Actuators 18.06.2010
Extrusion Blow Moulding Machines 18.06.2010
Injection Blow Moulding Machines 18.06.2010
Injection Moulding Machines 18.06.2010
Process Energy Management Systems 23.06.2010
Voltage Stabilisation 23.06.2010
Refigeration and Cooling €1,000 Compressors and Condensing Units 23.06.2010
Condensers 23.06.2010
Refrigerated Display Cabinets 23.06.2010
Refrigeration System Controls and Monitoring 23.06.2010
Chillers and Fluid Coolers 27.09.2010
Heat Pumps 25.07.2011

* Expenditure within each equipment category must, at the end of the accounting period, be equal to or exceed minimum expenditure amounts relevant for each category. Minimum expenditure can be over a range of projects, procurements etc as it only relates to overall company expenditure on BEMS technologies in the accounting period.

SEAI update the  Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) criteria on a regular basis.