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Sustainable Energy Communities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many communities are coming together nationwide to form Sustainable Energy Communities ("SEC") 

  • What is a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC)?

A Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is a number of people who come together, to work together, to develop a sustainable energy system for the benefit of their wider community, and to ultimately change the way the community thinks about and uses energy.

The SEC will directly engage with it's inhabitants, or community members, to encourage adapting energy use and to achieve practical changes in everyday lifestyle of the local community:

  • This can be achieved by aiming to be as efficient as possible

  • To use renewable energy where feasible to do so

  • To consider the use of smart energy solutions as well.

  • SECs can and are strongly encouraged to include a range of different energy users/stakeholders from across the community, this can include the likes of homes, sports clubs, community centres, churches, schools and local businesses.  

  • In doing this, the SEC is taking the most holistic approach possible, taking all local needs into consideration in an inclusive, collaborative manner, rather than focusing on any one area in isolation. It also enables the SEC to share local resources, skills, knowledge and experiences from a range of different perspectives which leads to longer term benefits which can be felt by all involved.

  • Are there many Sustainable Energy Communities in Ireland?

As of November 2021, over 590 community groups across Ireland are now part of the SEAI’s Sustainable Energy Communities network. Ireland’s Climate Action Plan has set a target to grow this network to 1,500 sustainable energy communities by 2030.

  • What are the benefits of becoming an SEC?

There are a number of benefits associated with becoming an SEC.  

  • Achieve financial and energy savings in the community by reducing energy use in homes and properties.

  • Enhance the comfort, health and wellbeing from more energy efficient buildings & homes by retrofitting homes to a higher energy rating.

  • Boost local employment opportunities through goods and serviced by community.

  • Support community and local development.

  • Build capacity and skills across the community and access support and funding.

  • Contribute to national energy targets and reduce carbon emissions.

  • ​The SEC network is designed to enable communities to manage and save energy across all sectors.

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The programme has a very simple 3-step approach or journey for SECs to follow upon joining the network, which is referred to as Learn-Plan-Do. You can find details on SEAI here

  • View the SEAI Sustainable Energy Community Animation here

Community Energy groups

Are you interested in creating your own renewable energy in your community? You are not alone and there is help at hand. 

Nationwide Community Energy Ireland CLG

Community Power - Ireland's first community owned renewable electricity utility company

Energy Co-Ops

SEAI -Renewable Energy Support Scheme

SEAI- Sustainable Energy Communities

Further information

Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities- A Five Year Plan

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