This stage of the programme helps your community to understand the energy demand and supply of the community and provide a map of how your community will achieve its energy goals.

The Energy Master Plan

Apply for SEAI 100% funding to undertake your own community Energy Master Plan. Each community will design and develop their own Energy Master Plan in line with the aims of their community. Therefore no two plans are the same, so it is important to design your plan to suit your capacity, with some plans will be more detailed than others. Every community is encouraged to look at energy efficiency first as this work is typically low risk but has high payback. Your Energy Master Plan will:

  • Quantify the current energy status of your community as a baseline of electrical, thermal and transport energy demand.
  • Identify any existing renewable energy sources within the community.
  • Create a Register of Opportunities - a list of potential projects for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Select suitable projects for the first three years of your community. Set energy reduction targets against the baseline figures.
  • Allow periodic updating of the SEC energy status in order to track progress against your targets.
  • Document a live record of your community's energy status and achievements. It will evolve to form the foundation for other applications and projects.

Energy Master Plan Funding

The grant programme is open all year round and you can apply for funding by completing a funding application form. The grant offer is valid for 12 months to give you plenty of time to identify the community priorities, find an external expert and develop your energy masterplan in consultation with your community.

For more information on what is involved and how to apply please view our Energy Master Plan Guides below. Your mentor will also be able to guide you step-by-step through the application process.

SEAI will provide a 100% grant to cover the costs of an external expert to help your community develop an Energy Master Plan. The Energy Master Plan funding ranges in value depending on the level and scale of the Sustainable Energy Community. The scale of the SEC is linked to the estimate of the energy spend in your community. 

The table below will give you an idea of the funding scale you can apply for:

Grant Level Scale Community Energy Spend Funding

Level 1

Street / small village/ multi-unit development(s)

up to €500K 


Level 2

Village / small town / island 

up to €2M 


Level 3

Town / urban area 

up to €20M


Level 4

Large town / city / region 

over €20M 


The Role of the Consultant

If you apply for Energy Master Plan funding and you are successful, you will receive a Letter of Offer from SEAI. Once you have received your SEAI Letter of Offer your mentor can help advise on how to procure your external Energy Master Plan consultant. When you have decided on the role of the consultant you can invite a number of consultants to quote for the work and then select the most appropriate service provider that meets your requirements. At an early stage you should meet with your Energy Master Plan consultant. The more your community is engaged in the process, the more comprehensive the plan can be. The Energy Master Plan can be separated into two parts, data collection and register of opportunities.

Part 1 - Data collection

Once you have been approved for funding your community can hire a consultant to help you collect local energy data. Examples of energy data collection may include:

  • Desk study research of local energy use- such as fuel types, energy systems, energy spend etc.
  • Energy audits of local buildings
  • Establishing a Building Energy Rating (BER) baseline on home: BER Map Data
  • Initial survey of energy users in your community can help identify the most appropriate audit locations. 

Part 2 - Register of opportunities

This is a tool that enables you to record the energy saving opportunities in your community, based on what data you collect. By using average unit costs for different fuel types, you can estimate the cost savings (and emissions savings) associated with each unit of energy saved.

The tool can rank every project idea or energy saving opportunity to show you the most effective measures you can undertake. This will inform your work plan going forward.