Eight families to light the way in energy campaign

EIGHT families from across the country have signed up to be the leading lights in a unique environmental project to slash energy consumption in their homes.

Power of One Street is a new campaign launched yesterday by Natural Resources Minister Noel Dempsey, which will track eight households as they attempt to become more energy efficient.

Energy experts and official “coaches” Aodhan MacPhaidin and Dr Kirk Shanks have carried out an energy survey of each home to determine what changes are needed and which ones will have greatest impact on comfort, running costs and environmental benefits.

Now, Mr MacPhaidin and Dr Shanks are challenging every person in each household to make those changes and motivate them to stick to the programme.

They will visit each household on a monthly basis to see if the families have been successful in their last challenge, and to assign them their new task.

The families were selected through an open application process and whittled down from an initial 130 entries.

As part of the initiative, an interactive website was launched yesterday and the families’ progress can be followed at www.powerofonestreet.ie.

The average Irish home is one of the largest users of energy in Ireland, accounting for almost a quarter of the energy used in the country, more than either transport or industry.

If the eight families can stay motivated and make real progress and savings, they will receive valuable energy-saving upgrades to their homes.

“Through the Power of One campaign,” Mr Dempsey said yesterday, “we’ve illustrated that just one or two small changes in your behaviour can make a big difference collectively.

“Now, Power of One Street will show that real families can take on these changes and transform their habits in regards to energy.”

Mr MacPhaidin said he hoped that all of the participants would become energy-efficiency role models by August.

The residents of Power of One Street are the Heffernan family from the Dublin suburbs, Frank and Maureen with their daughters Anne and Maria; Andrea Carroll and Aaron Cassidy in their first home in Co Meath; the Davies family from Co Louth, Gareth, Julie and 11-year-old Ryan; Aoife Gleeson and her daughter Lily, six, in Co Tipperary; the Crowley family in Co Cork, Denis, Catherine and their son DJ; the Connolly-Heery family from Dublin’s city centre, Niall, Karen and their new daughter Laoise; Niall and Mary Meehan from Co Donegal along with their four boys; and the McCabes from County Mayo, Dermot and Orla along with their toddler daughter, Ruan.

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