Having joined the sustainable energy network, you can now plan how your community will achieve its energy goals. This is done through the Energy Master Plan.

Creating your plan

Doing the plan will help you understand the energy demand and supply in your community. Every community is encouraged to look at energy efficiency first. This is because energy efficiency work is typically low risk and has high payback. Your plan is also a live record of your community's energy status and achievements. It will evolve to form the foundation for other applications and projects.

Tailor to your charter and capacity

Each community will design and develop their own Energy Master Plan in line with the aims of their Community Charter. No two plans are the same so it is important to design your plan to suit your capacity. Some plans will be more detailed than others. 

What your Energy Master Plan should do

  1. Quantify the current energy status of your community as a baseline of electrical, thermal and transport energy demand.
  2. Identify any existing renewable energy sources within the community.
  3. Create a Register of Opportunities - a list of potential projects for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  4. Select suitable projects for the first three years of your community. Set energy reduction targets against the baseline figures.
  5. Allow periodic updating of the SEC energy status in order to track progress against your targets.
Download sample Energy Master Plan

Consider funding for professional help

You need to consider if your Energy Master Plan will require professional input or services from an Energy Master Plan Consultant. The types of services you may require could include:

  • BER ratings for households
  • Supporting a meeting consulting the community on the energy master plan
  • Energy Audits for community enterprise centres
  • Detailed desk study analysis on the area
  • Writing the Energy Master Plan
  • Preparing a presentation on the main points of the energy master plan and sharing this at a community engagement event
  • Development of the Register of Opportunities.
Apply for Energy Master Plan funding

Your Energy Master Plan 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 (EMP) can be separated into two parts, data collection and register of opportunities.

Data collection

We provide funding for your community to 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 homes

These are just some examples of data that would be useful in your Energy Master Plan. Every community is different, so you may identify other ways to establish your community energy baseline. On site audits can be part of the role and these should be selected based on the overall energy used, likelihood of building owner participating in retrofit examples, replication potential of that audit and the ability of that building to showcase the energy transition.  An initial survey of energy users in your community can help identify the most appropriate audit locations. 

Map of Building Energy Rating of Homes Map

We have developed a BER map of Ireland that will give you access to building energy information on dwelling clusters within Ireland.

  • You can use the map to identify clusters of homes with a poor BER (suggestive of poor levels of insulation and or poor heating system).
  • You can also use the map to understand heating demand / electrical demand in a given area. This would be very useful for planning purposes. For example, the map can identify areas where district heating projects may be efficient.
  • You can use the map to inform geo-targeting of interventions to encourage more people in an area with generally poor BERs to consider retrofitting their home.
  • You are also free to use the map, and the underlying data provided, for other research or commercial purposes, subject to providing credit to SEAI when used.
View the BER Map

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.

Download the Register of Opportunities template