The SEAI Communities Grant Programme is responding to climate change by helping homes and businesses upgrade to energy efficient buildings.


  • 19

    Homes Upgraded
  • 7

    Non Domestic Buildings
  • 33%

    Expected Energy Savings

Better Energy Communities Grant

The SEAI Community Grant Programme supports partnerships between communities, businesses and the public sector to deliver energy improvements in buildings across the country in response to tackling climate change.

To date €125 million in community grants has underpinned over €300 million investment in upgrades to 17,500 homes and 2000 non-domestic buildings. The annual energy savings are estimated to be in excess of €50 million. 

The BEC Roscommon Rural Project

In 2018, lead project coordinator, Paul Kilmartin, who works with Midland Warmer Homes made the application to SEAI on behalf of the Roscommon Rural project. The project involved carrying out energy efficiency upgrades to four public buildings, three commercial  buildings and 19 homes within the community.

  • The Grant funding requested was 50% of the total spend, which came to €900,048.62
  • 33% was the total energy savings estimated for the project.
  • SEAI funded just under half a million euro for this community project.
Newly installed solar panels on the roof of a building

How did individual companies get involved?

Heat Merchants Group is an independent Irish owned national trade merchant business headquartered in Athlone who got involved in the Better Energy Communities grant programme as part of the Roscommon Rural Project.

After deciding they wanted to upgrade their premises, a meeting with Paul Kilmartin concluded that their project was suitable for the local SEAI Community grant application.

Their proposal involved installing a large Solar PV array on the roof of their head office and central distribution centre. NextGen Power were their installation partner and they provided the design for the fitting. This comprised of 470 solar panels with a total output of 150kWp. The project aimed to provide 85% of the total annual energy consumption of the building.

The total cost of the works was €180,000 and 30% or €54,000 was funded through the grant.

How long did it take?

The planning process took a number of months to get approved, as it required an environmental impact assessment, fire certificate and BCAR certification. The actual physical installation took less than 3 weeks with the overall process taking just over 4 months.

If you think that your business or home may be suitable for an energy upgrade through the SEAI Community Grant programme, please get in touch and we will guide you through the process. 

The system was installed recently so the results only cover a short period…However, we are pleased with the result and we look forward to analysing the performance over a longer time-period. 
Eamonn Kent, Development Manager, Heat Merchants