Residents out in the cold in eco-friendly estate

Residents out in the cold in eco-friendly estate

Eco measures in a South Kilkenny housing estate designed to conserve energy are proving to be unpopular with residents.

Wood pellet stoves and solar panels were flaunted as being an integral part of the eco-system housing estate - Pollerone Green in Mooncoin when it was developed in 2007.

“We were the first housing estate to have an eco system like this and at the time the council would have got grants.

“That was eight years ago but there is not proper maintenance carried out on the systems in the estate. The stoves which are in people's homes are supposed to be outside the house and then the heat is meant to be piped in,” said resident, Orla O'Shea.

“It is four and a half feet by two and a half feet and it is like a big fridge in your sitting room. The pellets cost €6 for a 15 kilogramme bag and during the winter it takes two bags of pellet a day to heat the house which costs €84 per week,” she said.

The mother-of-two was without heat for five days during the bitterly cold weather earlier this month.

“The stoves are not maintained properly. If a new part is needed you often have to wait. There is endless dust from them and they are noisy all the time,” she said adding that the solar panels on the houses were also not maintained.

Residents highlighted their grievances on the national airwaves last week.

Meanwhile a spokesman for Kilkenny County Council confirmed that the heating system/solar panels were part of the first green energy scheme installed in council houses back in 2007.

“This was a new venture for Kilkenny County Council at the time and while we acknowledge there are issues with some of the units installed Kilkenny County Council has always responded to complaints received and we use the services of an external specialist contractor to carry out the repair works.

“Unfortunately there are very few specialists in this area and the repairs may not always be dealt with to the satisfaction of the residents as quickly as we would like,” he said.

Kilkenny County Council are currently reviewing the heating system/solar panels in the entire estate.