Start your community energy journey by learning all about our community network. Then take the steps to establish your own group.
Introducing the SEC Network
The SEC Network is made up of over 200 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 of SECs in every part of the country. Together they want to:
- Be as energy efficient as possible
- Use renewable energy where workable
- Use smart energy technology
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.
The many benefits for your community
By joining the SEC network, you and your community can achieve many benefits, such as:
- Lower energy bills
- More comfortable local buildings
- Improve public well-being
- Boost local employment
- Build energy knowledge and skills
- Contribute to national emissions targets
Why join the SEC 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!
- 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
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.