From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Wed Jul 18 2007

Almost a million Irish homes built before 1997 are poorly insulated and energy inefficient, according to the country's leading renewable energy association.

The Renewable Energy Skills Accel Project (RES) claims that Irish households are wasting millions of Euro each year on heating poorly insulated homes and that the situation is unlikely to improve without Government intervention. The network has indicated that the provision of grant aid to the owners of houses built prior to the introduction of the 1997 Building Regulations would help improve energy efficiency.

Johnny Flynn, Ennis Town Councillor and Chairperson of RES stated, "The introduction of environmentally sound construction methods and materials in the building of new homes is being undermined by the fact that approximately two thirds of existing Irish homes remain poorly insulated and are, therefore, neither energy efficient nor environmentally friendly."

"If this Government is serious about significantly reducing overall carbon emissions, as set out under the recently launched Government White Paper, then it must address the disastrous situation whereby over a million homes across Ireland are extremely poorly insulated. Renewable Energy Skills would like to see grant aid being made available to the owners of homes built before 1997", continued Mr. Flynn.

He explained, "There are many vulnerable people in our communities, such as the elderly and low income households, who are living in homes without adequate insulation. Without adequate insulation, which makes these buildings practically impossible to heat, these people are suffering from health problems and are also facing huge fuel bills."

"Apart from reducing fuel and electricity bills, a more energy-efficient home helps to protect the environment and provide greater protection for householders against future increases in fuel costs, as well as making the use of renewable energy technologies a more practical option", concluded Mr. Flynn.

Meanwhile, Renewable Energy Skills has announced details of the 3rd National Renewable Energy Heating Conference in Limerick Institute of Technology, Limerick on Thursday 6th September 2007.

The key focus of this year's conference will be the financial argument for renewable energy heating systems and the benefits of improved energy efficiency, with national and international experts exploring how benefits can be gained and savings can be made.

According to Dick Whelan of Renewable Energy Skills (RES), "The event will focus on improving energy efficiency through better building design and the use of the latest renewable energy technology. It will be of interest to builders, developers, designers and architects, as well as those working in the renewable energy sector. The event is timely and our agenda highly topical, particularly in view of repeated hikes in gas and electricity prices and the increasing popularity of renewable energy heating systems for both commercial and domestic markets."

He added, "The conference will explore the financial justifications for renewable energy heating systems for both domestic and large scale commercial and community projects and will offer expert guidance and workshops on Best Practice in Renewable Energy Heating Systems. The target audience for this event include Policy Makers, Specifiers and Installers."

Fergus Blake of Shamrock Solar Energies Ltd, a founding member of the RES network stated, "This conference offers a unique opportunity to all stakeholders in Ireland’s renewable energy heating sector. It brings together professional and trades in the industry, architects, engineers, industry leaders, policy makers, suppliers and academics to share information and exchange ideas on technology trends and what is happening in Europe."

The 3rd National Renewable Energy Heating Conference, which will be officially opened by Junior Minister for Environment and Energy Tony Killeen, forms part of a unique two-day energy event at Limerick Institute of Technology. On Friday 7th September, the Limerick Clare Energy Agency will hold its Energy Solutions National Conference at the same venue.

Established in early 2004, the Renewable Energy Skills Accel Project provides training and support to trades and professionals involved in the design and installation of renewable energy heating systems. The training network recently completed its spring/summer programme of courses, which were held in 10 locations across the country.

Renewable Energy Skills is funded by members companies, the European Social Fund and the National Development Plan. Accel is an initiative of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and is managed by Skillnets Services Ltd

Anyone interested in attending the 3rd National Renewable Energy Heating Conference, exhibiting at the Renewable Energy Show or attending any of the renewable energy training events provided nationally should visit, call 087-2644117 or email


Notes to Editor:
- Dick Whelan, Renewable Energy Skills (061-329744/086-8198188) and/or Johnny Flynn, Chairperson, Renewable Energy Skills (087-2571842) are available for interview. For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900.
- The Renewable Energy Skills was set up in 2004 to provide training and support to plumbing and heating contractors and related trades and professionals involved in the design, specification, installation and maintenance of Renewable Energy Heating Systems. Over the past 3 years the Renewable Energy Skills has provided its Renewable Energy training courses in ten locations, with trainees from nineteen counties so far attending. RES currently have over 150 members. For more on Renewable Energy Skills log on to
- Accel is an in-company training initiative aimed at accelerating skills of people at all levels within firms in Ireland. It provides a unique opportunity for enterprises, management and staff to rapidly upskill workers to provide career progression and employability and respond to specific competitive challenges. Accel is an initiative of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and is managed by Skillnets Services Ltd on its behalf. The programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Training Fund. Website
- FETAC, the Further Education and Training Awards Council is the national awarding body for further education and training in Ireland, (FETAC) gives people the opportunity to gain recognition for learning in education or training centres, in the work place and in the community. Website

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
County Clare
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