NICE Celebration of Achievement with Chinese Welfare Association

NICE Celebration of Achievement with Chinese Welfare Association

Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) held their first open public meeting in the Belfast area on Wednesday 17th June 2015.  The event was kindly hosted by our members the Chinese Welfare Association who were our 2nd community organisation to receive a NICE funded 12 kW solar pv installation.

We held the open community meeting as a ‘celebration of our achievements’ to date and to also ‘showcase’ the renewable community energy intiative at the Chinese Welfare Association.  We were delighted to welcome Anna Lo, MLA  Alliance Party South Belfast Constituency to talk us about the importance of community involvment in embracing renewable technologies in making a sustainable future for all of us and in reducing our carbon footprint.  Anna commended NICE Board of Directors (all volunteers) for their aspirations and hardwork in bringing this pioneering project to fruition and she sincerely hoped that there would be branch off or mirrored community energy co-operatives established on the basis of NICE success.

William Olphert, Managing Director Chinese Welfare Association (CWA) advised they had strived hard to acquire their own building and in being able to use solar energy to reduce their energy costs through NICE, helped them also to become more energy efficient and has made the long term sustainability of the centre more secure.   He advised CWA would make a 2/3 saving on their annual electricity bills.

We received a heartfelt welcome from Mr Danny Wong (Chair) and Mr Frankie Hee Ying Ho (Vice-Chair).  They looked forward to the long-term partnership with NICE and hoped we would be frequent visitors to their Centre.  They lead a guided visit up to the roof of the Chinese Welfare Association to show participants their new PV solar installations.

The evening was also an opportunity for the Board of Director to meet NICE members ‘face to face’.  Karen Arbuckle, NICE Director commented “we try to keep members and the local community as up to date as possible through our communications, website and social media however the opportunity to personally meet individuals, to converse and engage directly in open forums such as this event she believed encouraged more useful interaction and feedback”.

It was fantastic to see some NICE local members supporting the event and NICE certainly look forward to further future local community forums.