“Established in 2015, the Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community grew from a coming together of like-minded people looking to create a sustainable energy awareness and deliver sustainable solutions into local homes.”

Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is the 2020 winner of the Inspirational Energy Community award – one of ten SEAI Energy Awards awarded in October.

Results

  • 230

    premises received energy upgrades
  • 2,000

    tonnes of CO2 taken out of the atmosphere
  • 10,000,000

    kWh of electricity saved

Key Achievements

The Birches Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre

completed energy upgrade as part of Community scheme

LED lights installed

at local soccer club

 

10 Energy Ambassador

education programmes delivered around Louth

Interactive computer game

used for sessions to educate on energy and renewable solutions

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The Project

The Dunleer SEC team is made up of 10 community members and provides an end-to-end service from education on energy and renewable energy, to administering grant applications and coordinating installations.

The County Louth group is a member of SEAI’s Sustainable Energy Community Network, which gives them access to SEAI’s resources and connects them with communities around Ireland that share ideas and initiatives on sustainability.

Dunleer SEC offers advice on the best solutions for homeowners, community groups and   business owners in their local area. They help them  to reduce energy consumption, use renewable energy solutions, save money, and address the challenges of climate change.

To date, through the SEAI Community Grant programme, the Dunleer SEC has retrofitted 230 premises including homes, community centres, sports clubs and businesses across the county and beyond, to make them warmer and more energy efficient. This is contributing to the reduction of 2,000 tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere and saving 10 million kilowatt hours of energy.

The SEC has built upon SEAI’s ethos of ‘Learn – Plan – Do’ and the vision of the Dunleer SEC community charter continues to be: ‘Educate, Retrofit and Generate’.

“We’re delighted to win the award. It gives recognition to our work. It’s wonderful for the community. It’s wonderful for the SEC network that they could get inspiration from us – if we can do it, you can do it.” – Elizabeth Kearney, Dunleer SEC Lead

What’s next?

This SEC will continue its engagement with the wider community on many initiatives. The town is twinned with Alheim, Germany to learn and exchange ideas of best practice in sustainability. While visiting Alheim, Dunleer SEC saw an opportunity to overcome a challenge it has helping homeowners with their financial contribution. Alheim introduced Dunleer to its relationship with their local community bank. Dunleer SEC is now partnering with the local credit union on the rollout of an energy loan.

2020 SEAI Energy Awards

A total of ten awards were presented to individuals, businesses, communities, and public sector organisations in recognition of their commitment and dedication to sustainable energy and climate action.

The online awards ceremony was hosted by broadcast journalist, Andrea Gilligan, who was joined by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan T.D. for a special interview.

Watch awards ceremony