Donegal County Council have teamed up with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to pilot a new bridging finance programme aimed at Sustainable Energy Communities in the county.
The SEAI plays a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy and practices. The SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) Programme engages and enables citizens to work together to achieve their energy goals.
At present there are 32 SECs in Donegal. Search Our Sustainable Energy Communities Network | SEAI Benefits of the SEC Programme include:
- Achieve financial and energy savings
- Improve public wellbeing and comfort from energy efficient buildings
- Boost local knowledge, skills and employment
- Build capacity and leverage funding
- Contribute to climate change targets
- Support an equitable transition to a low carbon society
A key starting point for SECs is the preparation of a local Energy Master Plan (EMP). This Plan provides the SEC with a road map for achieving the benefits listed above. EMP Grants of between €10,000 and €25,000 are available from SEAI to claim back costs incurred during its preparation.
Donegal County Council are now providing further assistance through a Memorandum of Understanding with SEAI.
The Council will provide SECs with short term up-front funding to ensure the necessary cash flow is available during Energy Master Plan preparation pending receipt of SEAI grants. DCC has partnered with SEAI to encourage further uptake of the SEAI grant and help more Donegal based SECs develop their own local Energy Master Plan.
Donegal County Council joins 17 other Local Authorities nationally by participating in this initiative and encourages SECs to contact their relevant SEC Mentors for further information on eligibility criteria and how to sign up.