Our Survey of Four Communities in Leitrim is done
Volunteers from GEAI finished surveys last week on how households get and use energy. Four towns were surveyed: Drumshanbo, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ballinamore and Carrigallen. 10% of houses in Drumshanbo (60), Carrick-on-Shannon (150), Ballinamore (50) were surveyed and 20% of houses in Carrigallen (25).
This energy survey is part of the Northwest Energy Communities Start-up project (NECS). The project is a part of the national plan for transition of communities all over Ireland to a low carbon economy, moving away from fossil fuels and using renewable energy resources.
The partners in this project are Good Energies Alliance Ireland and I.T. Sligo. The project is funded by SEAI – the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Basically the NECS project is researching how people, in selected towns, use energy and how much it costs them. GEAI and IT Sligo prepared questionnaires for each town. The questions were about type of houses, heating systems, heating control systems and most importantly, questions about energy bills.
After all the information is analyzed, GEAI and IT Sligo will organize an Exhibition Day in each surveyed town to give the results of the surveys and plan how residents could have warmer, more comfortable homes while costing them less on fuel and heating.
After the project, each town can be registered as an (SEC) with the SEAI. The SEC programme gives grants to make homes more energy-efficient and warmer through more insulation, better windows, solar panels, and upgrading boilers, for example.
Form volunteers’ perspective.
For the GEAI volunteers, it was a unique experience.
“We were knocking on doors and asking questions. This experience helped to train our communication skills, flexibility, teamwork and many other skills.”
The volunteers worked 2 days per week in the evening from about 5 pm till 8:30 pm. They were supported by local volunteers in each town, so that people were happy to answer questions.
“We came across different situations, different people’s reactions. The vast majority of people were nice to us and they were glad to help us. They were also interested in reducing their energy bills!”