Over the summer months we have been very busy upgrading our school heating system to ensure everyone is warm and comfortable for the Winter months. In a first for Ireland, our new system is run exclusively on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a green and climate-friendly fuel source. We are the very first school in the country to make the move and as a result we will reduce our carbon emissions by 88%! We launched our new system in mid- August and were delighted to welcome Paul Byrne from Virgin Media News on the day, along with other photographers and businesses that were involved in the process (CMcC Services, Tria, Firebird and Carbery Plastics).
Below is an article that appeared in the Lee Valley Outlook in August 2023.
St. Enda’s NS, Kilnadur leads the way in reducing carbon emissions by almost 90%
St. Enda’s NS, Kilnadur, in Kilmichael, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first primary school in Ireland to successfully transition its heating system to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) – a renewable and environmentally friendly energy source.
The school, that was originally built in 1865, completed its move away from being fuelled by traditional oil – a fossil fuel – to HVO last week – a move that is projected to yield a remarkable 88% reduction in carbon emissions, positioning St. Enda’s as a model for primary schools and other institutions throughout the country.
The primary school made the decision to switch to HVO after it was found earlier this year that its boiler was operating at only 70% efficiency.
It was Concubhar McCarthy of CMcC Services, Dunmanway who initially advised the school of the availability of HVO as a climate-friendly alternative to traditional heating oil and then carried out the necessary installation to industry standards, having particular regard for the age of the building (it being 158 years old).
The school’s management recognised that HVO offered it with a realistic, effective and affordable alternative to other options, including the retrofitting of the building which would have caused prolonged disruption.
The conversion of the boiler at St. Enda’s to HVO forms part of the school’s broader efforts to uphold its status as a green school, having received Green Flags for Litter and Waste, Energy, Water and Travel.
It is expected that St. Enda’s switch to HVO will offer further evidence as to how advanced, synthetic and biofuels can accelerate Ireland’s journey towards hitting its emissions reduction targets by 2030.
Commenting on the news, Liam Cotter, Principal at St. Enda’s NS, Kilnadur said that the decision was motivated by cost effectiveness, minimal disruption and environmental friendliness:
“We are very excited to pioneer this transition to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, and we believe that the carbon emissions reductions we will achieve will lead to St. Enda’s becoming a blueprint for schools across the country. Our goal is to not only reduce our carbon footprint significantly, but also to educate our students about the importance of climate responsibility and empower them to make environmentally conscious choices. When we discuss the transition with pupils in September, we will be using it as an opportunity to illustrate the need for each and every one of us to contribute to Ireland reducing our carbon footprint over the coming decades, and the different ways that this can be done. The pupils have worked hard for many years on our Green Schools status and it’s now great that the school management has been able to back up this hard work by installing an environmentally friendly system such as this”