The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's (SEAI) has recently launched a new programme - Sustainable Energy Community (SEC). This programme aims to help activate community groups interested in developing and implementing sustainable energy initiatives with a ‘bottom up’ community approach. Very significant technical support and ultimately funding is available from the SEAI to empower and inform local communities.
Community groups are invited to join the SEC Southwest Network and benefit from meeting and exchanging information and experience with other similar groups as well as availing of seminars, events, case studies and project site visits. Community groups availing of SEC membership aim to be energy efficient, to use renewable energy where feasible and to develop decentralised energy supplies. An SEC can include all different energy users including homes, sports clubs, community centres, churches and businesses.
Very significant SEAI funding and access to technical support is available to participating groups.
For example, for a Level 1 SEC comprising a street/village, up to €10,000 of technical support and advice is available for developing an Energy Master Plan (energy-use baseline) and up to €32,000 is available for developing core competencies and using technical panel resources to identify and develop a project. Additional project specific funding is then available on an annual basis for the implementation phase.
The newly established Southwest SEC Network had their first meeting in December in Ballyvourney with 4 groups from Cork and 4 from Kerry and one from West Waterford.
XD Sustainable Energy Consulting have been appointed to to develop and expand the SEC programme in Cork, Kerry and West Waterford. The Southwest Network meeting was hosted by Xavier Dubuisson and Conor O’Brien, XD Sustainable Energy Consulting.
Further programme details are available from or by contacting Conor O’Brien, SEC Mentor at or by calling 087 9047810