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Three Limerick schools chosen for Energy Retrofit Pathfinder Programme

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Energy Retrofit Pathfinder Programme will evaluate and demonstrate the approach to energy retrofit and carbon reduction in the schools’ sector.

The programme will target energy use and CO2 emission reduction by 51 percent

Minister Ryan, pictured above, said “The Pathfinder Programme will be rolled out on a much larger scale to more schools in the coming years.”

Norma Foley, Minister for Education, and Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications launched the 2023 – 2024 Schools Energy Retrofit Pathfinder Programme on Monday, October 3. With three Limerick schools set to benefit from the programme.

Catherine McCauley Special School on the South Circular Road in Limerick City, Hazelwood College in Dromcollogher and Scoil Neasain Primary School in Mungret will participate in the €35 million project to reduce energy costs.

The programme will evaluate and demonstrate the approach to energy retrofit and carbon reduction in the schools sector, testing energy efficiency solutions and renewable heat technologies.

Design teams are being appointed to each school for a feasibility stage to investigate retrofit and decarbonisation options. The works will roll out from Summer of 2023, depending on the outcome of the feasibility stage.

The schools for 2023 have a variety of challenges, including building age, archetype and retrofit requirements. The works typically involves upgrades to the building fabric including wall and roof insulation, doors and windows, air tightness improvements, LED lighting and heating upgrades as well as renewable technologies.

The programme will target energy use and CO2 emission reduction by 51 percent, testing deep retrofit and low carbon heating solutions. The programme will see the selected schools benefitting from a selection of energy efficiency works.

Minister Ryan said: “Our target of achieving at least 50% energy efficiency and 51 percent emissions reduction by 2030 is challenging, but we are contributing to achieve it. I’m delighted with what has already been done in this sector, it is improving the comfort levels and learning environment for our children. The Pathfinder Programme is continuously building expertise so we can roll this out on a much larger scale to more schools in the coming years.”

The 2023/24 Pathfinder is funded by the Department of Education and Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Department of Education with support from Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.

Minister Foley said, “This programme continues to assist the department to explore options and test various solutions for decarbonised energy efficiency solutions in our broad range of school building types.”

The pathfinder programme has retrofitted 41 schools across Ireland to date with work on an additional 15 schools currently at various stages of progress.

Each school undergoes a comprehensive assessment to ensure that the measures are suitable for that school and will deliver value to both the school and learnings for the national retrofit programme.

For more information on the programme, go HERE

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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