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‘Roadshow’ for Westside homeowners planning to retrofit


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

‘Roadshow’ for Westside homeowners planning to retrofit ‘Roadshow’ for Westside homeowners planning to retrofit

New EU funding is to be made available to Westside homeowners as part of a scheme to promote ‘retrofitting’.

The €1 million grant from the EU Net Zero Cities Programme has been allocated to the area due to its location within the city’s designated Decarbonisation Zone.

It’s anticipated that the grant aid will allow for the retrofitting of 250 units and train 60 people in retrofitting courses.

A retrofitting ‘roadshow’ (pictured) is taking place all this week in the carpark beside Sacred Heart Church in Westside.

The Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA), alongside Galway City Council, have secured the grant aid which will provide for a ‘one-stop-shop’ for residents seeking to upgrade their homes to become more energy efficient.

A portion of the funding will also be used to provide training courses in retrofitting for students, the unemployed, women and people with special needs – all part of an effort to promote ‘green jobs’.

The new one-stop-shop named ‘Warm Home Hub Westside’, will provide advice to energy inefficient households on how to retrofit thought information sessions and consultations with contractors – and will be managed by the Galway Energy Co-Operative.

Kieran Cunnane from Galway Energy Co-Operative said the benefits of retrofitting extended beyond cost savings, including improved health and comfort in warmer homes.

“The payback time for improving your home energy is often shorter than many people realise and also points to grants at the moment being quite generous.

“The Warm Home Hub will help streamline the retrofitting process for Westside residents. The initiative guides them in understanding and accessing grants, finding suitable contractors, overcoming obstacles and identifying financing options,” said Mr Cunnane.

The funding will also launch a collaboration between the NWRA, City Council, University of Galway, the Galway Energy Coop and the Westside Resource Centre to jointly deliver a strategy to reduce carbon emissions from home heating in the Westside area.

Economist with the NWRA, John Daly, said this batch of EU funding would be a catalyst for change in the city and across the region.

“We’re delighted that the Net Zero Cities Programme has opted to help us kick-start our retrofitting ambitions in Galway City’s decarbonisation zone.

“The €1m funding will enable us to bring together leading experts and innovators to assess the challenges involved in retrofitting homes in the Westside of Galway City, develop and apply solutions, and share our learnings with our regional stakeholders,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eddie Hoare (FG) said in addition to guiding households through the retrofitting process, this new approach would seek to increase capacity in the construction sector.

“This pilot project and the funding received through the EU Net Zero Cities Pilot Cities Programme provides Galway City with an excellent opportunity to test innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions, in line with Galway City Council’s Climate Action Plan,” said Cllr Hoare.

All next week, a fully-equipped mobile NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) unit that allows training on energy upgrades and retrofitting, will be parked beside Sacred Heart Church. Over the course of the week, a range of formal and informal training will be delivered from the mobile rig, including NZEB Fundamental Awareness and the Retrofit for Schools Programme.

Sharon Carroll, the City Council’s Net Zero Cities Project Co-ordinator said: “The mobile training unit provides an excellent opportunity for students, construction workers, community groups and individuals to learn more about retrofitting and participate in NZEB training courses close to home.”

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