All RESS and ORESS projects must register themselves and their corresponding Community Benefit Funds on the SEAI Community Benefit Fund National Register. These funds will ensure that RESS projects support sustainable community initiatives and help empower communities to support local causes.

About the Community Benefit Fund

A key feature of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is that all renewable electricity generation projects must establish a Community Benefit Fund to be used for the wider economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of the local community.

The contribution is to be set at €2 per Megawatt hour of generation of the RESS Project. This means there are real and quantifiable funds being made available annually for the benefit of the local community. The Fund will be aligned to incentivise investment in local renewable energy, energy efficiency measures and climate action initiatives.The community benefit funds under RESS-1 will deliver approximately €4.5million a year to sustainable community initiatives targeted at those communities living in close proximity to the RESS-1 Projects.

What can a Community Benefit Fund support?

The Community Benefit Fund can support not-for-profit community enterprises where the focus is aligned with UN Sustainable Development goals, further details can be found in the Good Practice Principles published by DECC. Additionally, and just in the case of onshore wind farms, a near-neighbour payment  
(those living 1km or 1-2km from the project) also to be paid through the fund. Examples of projects and initiatives that have been funded through CBFs include scholarships, community centres, energy upgrades in sports clubs and community centres, education programmes and disability access projects.  

The funding cycle

  • 1. The project produces energy for 12 months
  • 2. Funds are transferred to the Community Benefit Fund, starting a new cycle
  • 3. The Community Benefit Fund invites applications
  • 4. Funding is awarded
  • 5. CBF reports on funding annually to SEAI
  • 6. The funding cycle is closed

About the Community Benefit Fund National Register

The National Register consists of two parts; a portal for energy generators and community benefit funds to register their projects and log report data and a website designed to showcase the data from that portal to the public through interactive maps, dashboards, and case studies. 

Click here to launch the Community Benefit Fund National Register

Further Reading

For guidance and recommendations on how to comply with RESS Community Benefit Funds, please see the RESS Good Practice Principles Handbook. For rules and guidelines on ORESS community benefit funds, please see the ORESS Community Benefit Fund Rulebook.

RESS Good Practice Principles Handbook    ORESS Community Benefit Fund Rulebook

Case Studies

The Community Benefit Fund National Register will showcase innovative community projects funded by community benefit funds across the country. The below case studies are examples of community projects funded by non-RESS renewable energy projects.