We have established a Dingle Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) and all interested members of the public are most welcome to join this community to help support the transition to a low carbon society of the future. The initial stage is a Dingle Peninsula Energy Master Plan and last week we held a day long planning meeting with the consultants who will carry out this work. Over the coming months they will determine how much energy we are currently using and then provide an energy efficiency roadmap for the Peninsula. This work will allow us to identify suitable projects and ultimately avail of Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) community project funding which can provide significantly more support than if householders were to apply for upgrade grants individually.

As a community we will need to support this work by providing information in relation to our current energy usage. We will advertise a survey for people to submit this information in the near future and would urge people to get involved to help build an accurate picture of the energy we use today.

As I mentioned, part of this work also is to compile a register of opportunities for community projects. If you have an idea for an energy efficiency project in your area, please come talk to us about it so that we can include it in this plan.

The quest for the ESB Networks Dingle Project Ambassadors is well underway.  Surveys have been sent to all potential Ambassadors and we have had a number of Information Sessions in Benner’s Hotel in Dingle.  We are delighted with the interest and positivity and I don’t envy them the difficult task of deciding on a final five! Final decisions will be announced the 9th November 2018.  ESB Networks will be announcing the winners of the Dingle Festival 10 Solar PVs on 9th November also.  All winners will be contacted directly.

The more work we do on the energy initiatives and investigate what is involved in the transition to a low carbon society, the more it is becoming clear to us that people will need support. For example, if I want to upgrade my home in the morning there are many things I will need to know. What are the most suitable technologies for my home? What grants are available and what is the payback? Who are the installers and who will maintain the equipment? If I install an air source heat pump (ASHP), how do I use it most efficiently? We see this support being provided by independent Energy Coaches in the future and, with funding and support from Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB), we are planning to run a Local Training Initiative in 2019 to equip people with the necessary skills to be Energy Coaches. We will shortly be advertising for a coordinator and assistant coordinator for this course. The roles will be based in Dingle and will be for a duration of twelve months. We expect to advertise for places on this course in January.

Coder Dojo sessions will take a break for the mid-term and resume again on Friday, 9th November.

The good news is the drones have arrived and we’re setting them up to make them programmable using Scratch. Serious fun for all those ninjas who are ready to step their programming experience up a level!