Energy & Retrofit
Connecting Cabra in collaboration with Cosybatter and Phibsboro Village Climate Club are part of the Citizen Led Renovation project supported by the EU Commission.
We facilitate monthly sustainable energy events & share guidance & experience with the retrofitting process.
Webinar Video Link: Turn Solar into Savings
Webinar Presentation: Solar Panels: Turn Solar into Savings Presentation
This was our first joint event hosted by Connecting Cabra, Cosybatter, & Phibsboro Village Climate Club SEC. The session was enriched with personal experiences and insights from local residents who have successfully integrated solar panels into their homes, highlighting the practical benefits and the journey towards sustainability. The event also shed light on the financial support mechanisms available to aid such transitions, including grants and the concept of Solar Meitheal, demonstrating community-driven energy projects.
- Steph shared her experience with solar panels in Stoneybatter.
- Celine provided an overview of Dr. Gerry Wardell’s solar panel research in Phibsboro and discussed her personal experience.
- Eoin & Michelle talked about their solar panel installations in Cabra.
- Ger Doherty concluded the speaker sessions by discussing solar panel grants and showcasing a community-led Solar Meitheal project in Dublin.
Interactive Q&A Session:
Participants actively engaged through the chat, asking insightful questions ranging from the impact of solar panels on Building Energy Rating (BER) to specifics about installation and maintenance. Notable inquiries included the effect of weather on power generation and considerations regarding the financial and practical aspects of investing in solar technology.
Attendance and Engagement:
The webinar saw an attendance of 50 participants, indicative of a strong community interest in sustainable energy solutions. The interaction highlighted a keen curiosity about the technical, economic, and aesthetic aspects of solar panel installation.
Encouraged by the positive response and the wealth of information shared, we are planning our next event. Stay tuned to our social media channels and Eventbrite for updates.
This event underscored the collective ambition towards more sustainable living and the power of community in navigating the energy transition. We thank all participants for their enthusiasm and our speakers for their invaluable contributions. A comprehensive slide deck and the webinar recording are found at the links above to support our community’s journey towards energy independence.
Follow-Up & Get Involved:
For further inquiries or interest in joining our sustainable energy efforts, please email [email protected]
Energy Master Plan
Energy Masterplan (EMP) and Register of Opportunities (RoO) – Identifying Projects that will help Cabra reach Carbon neutral status by 2050
The first step on the road to carbon neutrality for Cabra was the completion of an Energy Masterplan (EMP) and the Register of Opportunities (RoO) with our consultants Ardan Energy Ltd. Positively, we were successful in our application for €20k in EMP grant funding from the SEAI in 2021 and the EMP was completed at the end of March 2023. With the EMP & RoO now complete, the report identified a number of projects that can be completed in Cabra. With the support of the community, Connecting Cabra SEC will seek to support and push for the completion of these projects (retrofits of buildings, community building PV projects, mobility hubs for EV bikes etc) (See the “Projects & Links” tab for the full Energy Masterplan report and Cabra Library to borrow). These carbon reducing projects residential, community and businesses should make up the majority of measures required to leave Cabra carbon neutral by 2050 – but larger national projects such as offshore wind, energy storage and agriculture emission reduction projects will determine how successful the nation is at reaching overall targets.
Community support, Information events and Cabra Energy Co-op
We recently held a successful Energy and Biodiversity Information showcase event at Christ the King community hall in October 2022. Attendees and demonstrators included companies such as Murdock’s building merchants, City cycles, Moby EV Bike rentals along with the Lord Mayor and other local community groups from the Cabra area. Some of the key findings of the Energy masterplan were shared at this event by Ardan Energy along with key actions points the community should consider implementing from the Biodiversity study as presented completed by Wildlife Surveys.
During the summer 2022 we held a successful “meet the neighbours” webinar, where neighbours shared their experiences of completing different types of retrofits on their homes in Cabra and neighbouring areas. Information in relation to PV Installations, Insulation upgrades, Heat Pump and Net zero deep retrofit was shared with Q & A.
Once the energy masterplan is fully completed In March 2023, we hope to be able to share more information with the community via our website, social media, webinar and at Cabra Library – so please check our social media and website for further updates. Other areas the Connecting Cabra group may be able to help the community with is the completion of SEAI grant application forms. Find out more at the Project link on website and see SEAI Grant information at this link https://www.seai.ie/home-energy/home-upgrades.
Cabra Community Power Co-op? – In the longer term and if legislation is amended by politicians to allow aggregation of rooftop solar PV in a safe manner, then Cabra could seek to set up a “Cabra community energy co-operative” 1-5MW system where each member/ house gets one share and one vote. Energy could then be sold for a cheaper rate between homes and businesses in the community at preferential rate, whilst also creating a valuable shared community asset. If excess energy is created, then that could be sold into the grid. If this were progressed could result in Cabra becoming more energy resilient, self-sufficient and protect the community against extreme price movements-and energy poverty as experienced in recent years. This PV project in conjunction with Geothermal district heating could lead to a full decarbonisation of Cabra by 2050.
Path to Carbon neutral by 2050 for Cabra
The graph below shows the potential path to Carbon neutral status for Cabra if the following actions are completed:
- 2030. – 25% domestic retrofit to B2 and installation of heat pump. 10% energy efficiency gains in the commercial sector. 25% shift to EV and active travel.
- 2040. – 75% domestic retrofit to B2 and installation of heat pump. 25% energy efficiency gains in the commercial sector. 50% shift to EV and active travel. 2 MW community solar
- 2050. – 100% retrofit to B2 and installation of heat pump. 50% energy efficiency gains in the commercial sector. 100% shift to EV and active travel. 4MW community solar.
The above scenarios are based on retrofit to heat pumps in the domestic sector for efficiency and decarbonisation. A heat pump based district heating scheme would be an alternative potential measure and would yield similar energy and CO2 savings.
Energy Showcase event Oct 2022
Carbon reduction Projects for homes, community centres and businesses in the Cabra area.
In relation to “Energy Generation” projects, initial findings from the Energy Masterplan audits completed indicate that savings of 40% could be achieved if PV solar panels and heat controls systems are installed on residential and community buildings. If these projects are completed by the residents, community groups and DCC local authority,they will help to reduce energy bills for residents and the taxpayer. There is also the added benefit of cleaner air and reducing our reliance on the importation of fossil fuels by up to 40%. If buildings are insulated towards “deep retrofit” standards could result in greater savings again. Find out more at the SEAI Grant information at this link https://www.seai.ie/home-energy/home-upgrades
PV Roof Solar Panel Installations (Image Credit: Smart Energy – energysmart.ie)
Transport and mobility projects:
In addition to energy savings and energy generation projects on buildings, Dedicated Mobility hubs if built could reduce the reliance on cars for the 1-2km commute to work, school, and drive to shops (all of which causes congestions). These hubs would encourage more active travel and reduced the reliance on cars. which will help to reduce C02 emissions providing cleaner air for residents. Dedicated mobility hubs should be of different size and scale. For example, smaller hubs could include EV cargo bike rentals and regular city bike rentals which would encourage more active travel and reduced the reliance on cars for the 1-5km commute to work, school, and drive to shops. Larger hubs may contain car sharing along with EV charging points for local residents in addition to EV bikes and regular bike rentals. See below picture of mobility hub in Finglas. Please find links to Car sharing and Bike rental companies such as GoCar, Dublin bikes, Moby bikes and Bleeper bikes at the “Project and Useful Links tab” of the website.
Mobility Hub at Finglas (Image Credit Lord Mayor Dublin city council Twitter page)
Electrical and Heat generation Projects for Cabra
Short to medium term projects (pre-2030) should be completed such as: Improving Insulation and PV installation on homes, schools, businesses, industrial unit roofs and local community centres which could supplement and enhance the longer term “Dublin District Geothermal district heating project”. If the Dublin district heating geothermal project is completed, could result in the removal of all fossil fuels (Gas and Oil boilers) from Cabra homes by 2050.
Of interest to the community in Cabra should be the recent geothermal testing completed at the TU Dublin Grangegorman site in 2021 which revealed promising temperatures at 1km deep in the region of 38 deg.c. – which if drilled to a depth of 2-5 km depth in the future could yield higher temperatures again of up to 50 + Deg.c Given the proximity of the Cabra area to the TU Dublin Grangegorman campus test site – we think that Cabra could also benefit from geothermal district heating if combined and boosted with other measures such as PV and heat pumps. This longer-term project will require further investigation and suitable long-term funding in conjunction with Dublin City Council and local businesses. See the following external sites for further information.
Drilling Site at TUD Campus, Grangegorman, Dublin 7. (Image Credit: RTE Eco Eye)
Given the proximity of the Cabra area to the TU Dublin Grangegorman campus test site – we think that Cabra could also benefit from geothermal district heating if combined with other measures such as PV and heat pumps. This longer-term project will require further investigation and suitable long-term funding. The aim of such a large-scale project would be to move away from all fossil fuel powered gas heating systems in Cabra by 2050. See the following external sites for further information.
- Codema Dublin District Heating Brochure at: https://www.codema.ie/images/uploads/docs/district_heating_brochure.pdf
- Dublin City Council website: https://www.dublincity.ie/residential/environment/dublin-district-heating-system
- Geological survey site: https://www.gsi.ie/en-ie/programmes-and-projects/Pages/default.aspx