Supporting Local News

Western Energy Agency has five-point plan to retrofit old homes

The Western Energy Agency – or Gníomhaireacht Fuinnimh an Iarthair (GFI) – was officially unveiled in An Crompán, An Ceathrú Rua, last week.

GFI is one of three Local Energy Agencies in the LEAP (Local Energy Agencies for Peripheral Regions) project established by the Aran Islands Energy Cooperative with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta and the European Union.

The Local Energy Agencies (LEAs) were established to support homeowners, communities and businesses to implement energy retrofit upgrades in the region.

The Atlantic Technological University, in collaboration with the Aran Islands Energy Cooperative, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal County Councils, received EU LIFE funding to implement a work plan for retrofitting houses so that the houses are warmer, cheaper to heat and more valuable.

Through this project, Local Energy Agencies in Peripheral regions (GFAF or LEAP in English), funding will be provided to set up three Local Energy Agencies in the region as outlined below.

LEAP is designed as a multi-initiative approach to developing real and area-based home retrofit projects using the five-phase strategy.

Phase 1 of the strategy has now started with the establishment of three Local Energy Agencies through the LEAP project.

The second phase is to support improved local supply chains in the region, and then to encourage homeowners in the region by providing them with independent advice and an integrated home renovation service.

Phase four is to work with multiple grant and finance providers to develop innovative and different funding models for area-based home retrofit projects – all home owners will have an option to participate – and finally to work with Local Authorities and Social Housing Bodies to start a multi-year work plan for area-based house retrofitting projects.

(Photo: Gníomhaireacht Fuinnimh an Iarthair chairperson Avril Ní Shearcaigh and director Páraic Bairéad, cut the cake at the launch of GFI ((The Western Energy Agency) in An Crompán, An Cheathrú Rua, with (from left) board member Máire Ní Chionna, Ronán Mac Con Iomaire, Director Regional Development, Community & Language Planning, Údarás na Gaeltachta; Éamonn Ó hÉanaigh, board member; Fiona Ní Chualáin, Agency Administrator and board members Helena Concannon and Dara Ó Maoldhia).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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