Cllr Cadogan Enright has welcomed the news that the Downshire Hospital in Downpatrick has become one of the first in Ireland to switch to biomass energy after investing in an eco-friendly boiler powered by wood pellets.
Cllr Cadogan Enright recently made a visit to the site and was shown around the new renewable energy facilities by Downshire Estate Manager Robert Spence.
Cllr Enright said, “This investment demonstrates that the route to lower costs, local jobs and sustainable development can be achieved while tackling the damage of global warming.”
According to estimates the Hospital could save almost £300,000 a year on heating costs having switched to this new green energy. The fuel is grown and manufactured in Fermanagh and safe from the vagaries if the international energy scene.
Cllr Enright continued, “This welcome move contrasts sharply with decisions by Ministers Dodds and Robinson to stymie home-grown renewable energy up in Stormont”.
Minister Dodds discontinued the reconnect grant scheme that helped hard-pressed homeowners in NI install cheap renewable energy. This has robbed most ordinary people of the financial incentive to follow the example of the Downshire. I myself received one of the last grants before the axe fell on local renewable energy. I was able to convert my central heating from Oil to a heating system powered by pellets grown by NI farmers and halved my heating cost this winter so far.”
“Minister Robinson also blocked proposals to update planning regulations and force developers to have new houses use cheap local renewable energy for the benefit of home buyers. The interests of an unsustainable building boom were put first, and he preferred to import oil and gas from the Middle East and Russia rather than promote local jobs.
Cllr Enright concluded, “The decision of the Downshire to save money, promote local jobs and help the environment is a shining example of forward thinking and the rest of government in NI could learn much by their example.