Housing News

EnergyCloud and Clúid Housing announce renewable energy partnership

Pictured above: L-R – Chair of EnergyCloud, Gabriel D’Arcy, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD and Clúid CEO Brian O’Gorman

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has officially launched the first phase of EnergyCloud, an innovative new project that will see surplus renewable energy used to help tackle fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty impacts thousands of Irish families every day yet according to the Government, in 2019 alone, 711 GWh of zero carbon energy from wind generation was dispatched down. Analysis from EnergyCloud indicates that this power had the capacity to heat domestic hot water in 200,000 homes. Redeployment of this energy to heat hot water in homes could have displaced 145,337 tonnes of CO2 in 2019 and avoided €5.8 million in carbon penalties to Ireland and €45 million in fuel bills to householders.

Minister O’Brien was joined by representatives from Clúid Housing and EnergyCloud to witness the installation of the technology in the very first home in the EnergyCloud project. A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) was also signed, which is designed to facilitate the ambition to expand the project to the entire Clúid Housing property portfolio of over 8,300 homes, thereby working to reduce fuel poverty for Clúid’s more than 21,600 residents.

50 Homes – first phase
Today marks the beginning of the first phase of the EnergyCloud project. Clúid and EnergyCloud are now working to deploy technology solutions to an additional 50 Clúid properties. The goal of this initial phase of the project is to reduce renewable energy wastage and instead divert it for social good to heat hot water in fuel poor homes. Once the technology is deployed, families in these 50 homes will receive surplus renewable energy from wind farms that otherwise would be wasted.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister O’Brien said:

“This is a very exciting project between EnergyCloud and Clúid and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to witness the very first installation of the technology behind this project. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnerships between organisations like Clúid and EnergyCloud, representing a range of stakeholders in the energy sector, with a shared vision of helping to address fuel poverty. This work is consistent with the Government’s Climate Action Plan and the Programme for Government which supports the ambitious plan to deliver 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

It also supports the work of my Department and other Government agencies and Departments who are focussed on helping to address fuel poverty. The current project will initially see 50 families benefit; however, it is clear from Clúid and EnergyCloud that they have an ambitious target to support families in each of the more than 8,300 Clúid properties throughout Ireland. The simplicity of the approach to this project is that it can utilise existing infrastructure in the home, such as the hot water tank, to receive surplus renewable energy at times when it is not needed on the energy grid. The use of existing infrastructure in the home reduces the capital expenditure required for this project and allows for organisations such as Clúid to quickly upgrade their properties to avail of this surplus renewable energy.”

Clúid CEO Brian O’Gorman commented: 

“Clúid’s vision is a society where everyone has a great place to live and our mission is to provide quality housing and services to enable people to create homes and thriving communities. The launch of this project between Clúid and EnergyCloud is a hugely exciting opportunity for Clúid to help tackle fuel poverty. At this moment in time, over 21,500 people live in over 8,300 Clúid properties, of whom 40% are children. This project with EnergyCloud seeks to use the surplus renewable energy on the grid to power social housing homes and reduce fuel poverty. As the largest approved housing body (AHB) in Ireland, this is an exciting opportunity for Clúid and for the families and single people who live in our homes.”

Chair of EnergyCloud, Gabriel D’Arcy added: 

“The vision of EnergyCloud and the ambition of the Clúid team are aligned to address the impact of fuel poverty, while using energy that otherwise would have been wasted. There are very significant social, environmental and economic benefits from this work by EnergyCloud, a triple bottom line scenario. The most recent figures from the Government indicate that in 2019 for example, 711 GWh of zero carbon energy from wind generation alone was dispatched down, enough capacity to heat domestic hot water in 200,000 homes. EnergyCloud was founded to find solutions to this problem and use this energy in social housing homes and help reduce the impact of fuel poverty. Clúid deserve great credit for the ambition that they have shown with this and there is no doubt that this project with Clúid is the start of a very exciting journey for EnergyCloud and our partners, but most importantly, those who are currently in fuel poverty.”

EnergyCloud is a new not-for-profit company limited by guarantee supported by EirGrid, ESB, Wind Energy Ireland, climote, SSE Airtricity, Kingspan and Clúid Housing.

About EnergyCloud
EnergyCloud’s mission is to create solutions to divert surplus renewable energy – which would otherwise be wasted – to Irish homes, with a primary focus on those in fuel poverty.

EnergyCloud is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and through partnerships with Eirgrid, ESB, Wind Energy Ireland, climote, SSE Airtricity, Kingspan and Clúid Housing, seeks to use this energy to power social housing homes and reduce fuel poverty.

EnergyCloud is led by Chairperson Gabriel D’Arcy and a voluntary board of Directors and advisers. For more information about EnergyCloud, visit www.energycloud.org or email info@energycloud.org

About Clúid Housing
Established in 1994, Clúid Housing is an independent, not-for-profit charity. Clúid is one of the largest approved housing bodies (AHBs) in Ireland with over 8,300 properties in management. Clúid leads the way in delivering social housing solutions to those on local authority housing lists. Our team of over 250 professional employees are committed to providing quality housing and services that enable people to create homes and thriving communities. For more information visit www.cluid.ie

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