Three counties bids to create Ireland’s first ‘low carbon, energy efficient zone’

Published by Niall Sargent on

January 22nd, 2017

Three counties have come together to create a new low carbon, energy efficient zone which they say will be a “unique magnet” as a near-zero emissions hub for European companies.

The newly-established non-profit, independent energy agency, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), will work across counties Carlow, Kilkenny, and Wexford in a bid to achieve ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets by 2030.

The new alliance will replace and build on the work of the Carlow-Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA) that delivered €14.3m in avoided energy consumption – heating, transport, and electricity – for the area.

Launching the new scheme last week, the former Director for Renewables and Energy Efficiency with the European Commission Marie Donnelly said that 3CEA will play an important role in “advancing the energy transition in the area”.

“[3CEA] reinforces its sustainable credentials as a location for Irish and international business and is a front-runner example not just for Ireland but also for Europe,” she added.

Launch of 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA). Marie Donnelly, Paddy Phelan, 3CEA Manager and Cllr. Denis Foley, Chairperson of the 3CEA board. Picture: Patrick Browne

Launch of 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA). Marie Donnelly, Paddy Phelan, 3CEA Manager and Cllr. Denis Foley, Chairperson of the 3CEA board. Picture: Patrick Browne

According to 3CEA Manager, Paddy Phelan, the project is the “logical vehicle” to push local authorities and businesses to “step up” their work to bring down their emissions by 2030.


He added: “Everyone in this area, be they a multi-national or a home-owner in a semi-detached house, will benefit from the low carbon, energy efficient hub for business this creates.

“It will be a major boost to a part of the country which has traditionally lagged behind the rest of Ireland when it comes to job creation.”

Carlow-Kilkenny Energy Agency

The energy agency has worked with Kilkenny and Wexford County Council to cut the annual cost of one-fifth of all street lighting in the county by 64 per cent.

Carlow County Council won the 2013 Best Energy Community National SEAI Award for the completion of over 500 deep retrofits in its social housing stock.

Kilkenny won the award the following year for its work to homes, retrofit several fire stations, GAA clubs, parish halls, community buildings and charitable organisations.

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Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London