Mr Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has officially launched Ireland's most eco-friendly development of smart homes at Carlinn Hall.
This is the first residential development in the Dundalk 20/20 sustainable energy zone. Sustainable Energy Ireland co-ordinate the Dundalk 20/20 project, which acts as a pilot for the rest of the country. In a 4 km zone in the centre of the town, 20% of all heat and 20% of all electricity must come from renewable sources by 2010 - this is ten years ahead of the Government target.
Speaking at the launch the Minister said - "Dundalk is clearly and successfully leading the way in sustainable development in Ireland. It shows us that, by working together across a community, people can and are making the choice to switch to greener energy, to greener homes and to greener living.
"The Carlinn Hall development will enable these home-owners to reduce their carbon footprint by 70% and enjoy much lower running costs. Most importantly, this development demonstrates that the new Building Regulations - recently announced by Minister Gormley - are eminently achievable for the industry. They are equally desirable to the discerning consumer."
The Minister added - "Savings from energy efficiency will considerably outstrip initial costs. The fact that Dundalk 2020 building standards will soon be national, means vastly increased competition in renewable energy technology. This will serve to decrease installation costs even further.
"The Carlinn Hall development is the way of the future. It represents canny cost-effectiveness with due regard for the environment. I would urge the construction industry to embrace this seed-change in housing and energy policy.
Minister Ryan concluded - "Dundalk is a template for every Irish town and city. The people of Dundalk are leading the green revolution - making it a European centre of excellence in sustainable development. I would like to see this replicated across the country."
The Carlinn Hall development received support from SEI's House of Tomorrow Scheme. Over 6,000 houses in Ireland have - or are - being constructed in line with the proposed new Building Regulations.