A study done by Good Energies Alliance Ireland on household energy use in Boyle discovered that the town spends over €4 million on fossil fuels each year. Not only is this harmful for the environment, but this money flows out of the local economy.

Happily, GEAI and IT Sligo have developed the Powerful Community Pathway for Boyle that shows the potential for saving €6.1 million in energy costs by 2025.

Our report is an inspiring and good information source for people in Boyle and elsewhere who want to save on their energy costs and improve energy efficiency. You can find actions you can take and grants available.

Areas of transition

Households can take a range of actions to save on energy costs. We grouped them into 4 areas.

A few examples of actions below, full list in the report. 

Knowledge
To kickstart realistic transition we need to have a grasp on our energy use: tracking energy costs, switching energy suppliers for better rates and keeping an eye on grants available.
Transport
Reduce car journeys and increase public transport use, when possible, and eventually switch to electric vehicle.
Houses
Knowing Building Energy Rating of your home and taking care of insulation is a good start, to be followed by renewable energy systems and smart electricity use.
Community
Community engagement is the driving force of the transition. Without a collective effort the transition is unlikely to escalate.

Survey results

The average total energy cost per person is approx. €4,513 per household.

Even though thermal energy costs are only 30% of the total, thermal energy (used for heating) emits 54% of the total carbon emissions and therefore has the highest climate impact. This is because of high reliance on oil and solid fuels.

Transport energy, at 31%, has the second largest impact, due to dominance of private diesel cars.

The Baseline Study

This study was managed by GEAI and carried out by European Solidarity Corps volunteers with IT Sligo technical support.

The goal was to analyse the use of energy in a typical Boyle household. To do this, we had to find out the types of houses and their ages, numbers of people in each household, what types of energy they used, how much they paid for it and what kinds of transport they used.

The results are based on our doorstep survey of over 100 households in Boyle. It included design of questionnaires, delivery to 10% of Boyle households, analysis of the questionnaire results.

Once these results were analysed, we came up with a transition scenario to achieve reductions in energy costs and carbon emissions. This scenario is described fully in our Powerful Community Pathway report.