Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative (ECTC) has been announced as one of the successful applicants in the provisional offers of funding made under the Just Transition Fund. The ‘Community Led Just Transition North Tipperary’ Project is a collaboration between ECTC and Littleton Development Association CLG. and Ballingarry (Thurles) Community Development CLG. The project aims to mobilise community-led energy efficiency in communities around Littleton, affected by Peat Plant Closures. A provisional offer of €995,000 has been made to support the project under the Just Transition Fund
The retrofitting of the housing stock in the area will create warmer, healthier homes. This will save money for local householders on home heating costs, help to eliminate fuel poverty and create local jobs. With less money leaving the area due to lower energy costs, there will be more local wealth to help support existing businesses and other organisations. The project will mobilise local people to get involved with their local community development associations to lead a local energy transition.
Reports suggest that on average, we can expect that investing €1 million in upgrading the energy efficiency of our building stock will create 19 new direct jobs in the construction sector and that the vast majority of these jobs will be local and non-transferable (Ref: https://euroace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2012-How-Many-Jobs.pdf).
The closure of Littleton Peat Factory in 2018 saw the loss of 125 jobs, 69 permanent jobs in the factory and 56 peat harvesting jobs. Many local businesses have suffered as a result of these job losses. Before the closure of the factory, in the County Tipperary Local Economic & Community Plan 2015-2020, Littleton was highlighted as an area of high youth unemployment while a cluster around Ballingarry/Killenaule were identified as areas of high unemployment. (Ref: https://www.tipperarycoco.ie/community-and-economic-development/local-economic-and-community-plan-county-tipperary)
Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative is a community led, One Stop Shop, home insulation upgrade and retrofitting organisation whose aims are to:
Improve householders living conditions i.e. warmer, more efficient houses, alleviate fuel poverty; Save money – through awareness of household energy efficiency; Create jobs in the local communities and reduce carbon footprint
ECTC grew out of a desire by rural communities to retain people in their areas. Energy efficiency was seen as great driver of local economic growth and will be even more significant in a Post-Covid Recovery. It has been shown to do this successfully, with the development of specialists in deep retrofitting there over the last 6 years. This approach will be replicated in Littleton, Ballingarry and surrounding villages. The project aims to lower the carbon footprint of all households in the area through reduced energy consumption and a move away from fossil fuels.