Your community charter set out your goals and ambitions for your community. It is a key part of your Energy Master Plan application.

What is a community charter

A community charter is a one-page overview of your sustainable energy community's vision and goals. The community charter is a statement of intent and represents the collective ambition of your community. It is not a legal document.

A key part of your Energy Master Plan application

You community charter should be signed by a steering committee member on behalf of your sustainable energy community. Your charter can evolve over time and should reflect your main areas of interest in sustainable energy.

How to create your community charter

You should create the community charter that suits your needs and goals. Here are five components that are often incorporated in community charters:

  • Vision Statement – A single sentence, describing what your SEC would like to achieve.
  • Elaborated Vision / Goals.
  • Guiding Principles – A statement on how your group will operate to achieve its goals.
  • Community Support – A sentence to note the level of community support for the project and comment on progress to date.
  • Commitments

The commitments are a list of your SEC’s key ambitions, relating to the following topics:

  • Partnerships and engagement - within your group; with the SEC Network and SEAI; with the public and other stakeholders locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Achievement of targets - improving energy efficiency; increasing renewable energy or reducing carbon emissions.
  • Integrated planning and reporting - recording and reporting on progress regularly and adopt an integrated, long-term planning approach.
  • Achievement of vision and goals
  • Creating impact - promote the project and sustainable energy

How the charter helps the Energy Master Plan

The charter should help inform the priorities of the Energy Master Plan and can direct the Consultant brief. For example if a key objective of your community is to ensure all homes are well insulated and that no one is at risk of energy poverty, then your steering committee may choose to direct more of the available funding towards assessing the energy rating of the homes in your area. Or you may have a focus on business efficiency and direct audits towards this area. The same could be done for sustainable transport options.

All key energy users should be considered but where you focus should relate to where your community group has the most influence and interest in addressing. When you are happy that your charter reflects your community energy ambitions it should be included with your Energy Master Plan application. It can be useful to make this document available to the wider community. This might be done by sharing it on a community noticeboard or in a space regularly used for community meetings, if this is available. Another option is to include it on your website or community webpage if you have one.

Download a community charter template    Guidelines to develop your SEC Community Charter