Start your community energy journey by learning all about our community network. Then take the steps to establish your own group.
Introducing the Sustainable Energy Community network
The SEC network is made up of over 300 communities around Ireland who are interested in community energy. Some communities have been influencing local energy use for years, while others are thinking about it for the first time. The aim of the network is to encourage and support a national movement in every part of the country.
An SEC can include a range of different energy users in the community such as homeowners, sports clubs, community centres, local businesses and churches. in this way, an SEC connects sustainable energy, local economic development and public wellbeing.
Download the SEC handbook
Why join the Sustainable Energy Communities network?
Support for our members comes from both the network and SEAI. It's a great network for sharing, learning and helping to make things happen! There are many benefits to becoming an SEC.
Benefits for your community
- Access to knowledge and support
- Access to funding
- Enhanced comfort from local energy efficient buildings
- Energy savings. Contribute to national energy targets and reduce society's environmental impact
- Financial savings. With reduced energy consumption due to efficiency, expect to see more money in the community
- A boost for local employment
- Get in touch with other communities who have common interests
- Learn from communities who have conducted local energy projects
- Learn about energy technologies and the types of solutions available
- Start thinking about energy use in your own community in an informed way
- Learn from energy experts
- Receive learning supports
SEAI supports for members
After applying to the network, we will:
- Assign you a regional mentor
- Invite you to regional and national events
- Provide an information pack
- Keep you updated with newsletters - browse our previous newsletters
Join the Network
A diverse network of skills and interests
The network is very diverse, with a variety of interests and skills in each community. Here is a sample of the types of communities you will find in our network.
- Small rural towns
- Large urban centres
- Third level institutions
- Residents' Associations
- Tidy Towns Committees Housing Associations
- Suburban community organisations
- Local environmental groups
- County councils
- Business groups
Not on the list?
Don't worry. We will work with any group who genuinely want to improve the energy use in their own community - whatever that may be.Sustainable Energy Communities Map
What is the difference between the BEC programme and the SEC programme?
The Better Energy Communities (BEC) programme is Ireland’s national retrofit initiative, aimed at upgrading building stock and facilities to high standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy usage, thereby reducing fossil fuel usage, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. This is a capital grant programme and is awarded on a competitive basis once a year.
The SEC programme is not a capital grant programme, but supplies other supports such as a mentor, access to a technical panel, and a framework in which to scope and improve your communities’ energy use. Once an SEC has examined their local energy use, you can apply for dedicated SEAI funding, such as BEC funding, to help your group to achieve its SEC ambitions.
What should our goals be?
Each community will have different goals. Joining the network allows you to connect with other similar communities, access case studies, and get a general idea of what will be suitable for your community. We encourage communities to start with energy efficiency first, as this is low risk with immediate benefits. Start on a level you are comfortable with, and develop as you learn the process, the challenges and opportunities in your own community. Your mentor can also give you guidance.