City of Cork OSS - Advice to citizens on energy upgrades to their homes

Cork City Council has established a Home Energy UpGrade Office (HEUGO), that provides advice and support to private citizens on the organisational, administrative, legal, technical and financial aspects necessary to implement energy efficiency measures in combination with renewable energy, targeted at single family and multifamily residential buildings. The services are to be provided by Implementation Champions. The Implementation Champions will directly support citizens by advising and mentoring on the different aspects of energy communities and energy retrofits of their homes. They will deliver advice and consultations both online through the UP-STAIRS digital platform and in person through a physical office located in in Cork City Centre.

  • Digital Platform of City of Cork: link will follow soon

 

Background

As part of the EU 2030 climate and energy framework, the European Commission committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015. They have since presented a range of legislative proposals to support the EU in delivering on its climate and energy goals for 2030.

Three key targets for 2030 are

  1. 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels)
  2. 27% share for renewable energy
  3. 27% improvement in energy efficiency

A physical OSS service would benefit the delivery of these targets and would also align with
new EU Strategy on Climate Adaptation to make Europe a climate-resilient society by 2050, fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

Preparation of the OSS

  • Two staff were recruited by Cork City Council, a Clerical Officer in October 2021 and a Graduate Engineer in February 2022.
  • A premises was secured in March 2022 for the establishment of a physical OSS namely the Home Energy UpGrade Office (HEUGO).
  • In collaboration with IERC, a community energy action plan was developed.
  • The premises was redesigned to become an office space and was fully fitted out and became Corks new Home Energy UpGrade Office in May 2022. The fit out included various ICT equipment (Laptops, Internet connectivity equipment), a footfall counter, building wrapped with promotional advertising material, and in accordance with the building regulations, a fire certificate was also required.
  • The Office opened its doors to the public on Monday 31st May 2022.
  • 4 volunteer Implementation Champions were successfully recruited along with the 4 existing Implementation Champions already in place.

 

Functioning and activities of the OSS

On Saturday 2nd July 2022, the training of 10 Implementation Champions took place in Cork.

On Tuesday 12th July, the Home Energy UpGrade Office will be officially launched by Cork City Council with various PR activities taking place on the day.

IERC has already participated in interviews with local radio stations to promote the HEUGO as well as promoting it through various social media platforms.

The HEUGO is currently open to citizens Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. It is staffed by two full time Implementation Champions and volunteer Implementation Champions are also available when needed.