SEAI partners with Local Authorities to provide bridge funding for community energy upgrades
Grants valued up to €25,000 will be paid up front
28 June 2021: A new partnership between the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Atlantic Seaboard North Climate Action Regional Office , which consists of counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and Galway, will pay communities up to €25,000 towards the upfront costs of their energy upgrade projects.
This partnership will provide vital bridge funding to assist communities in achieving their sustainable energy ambitions. By removing the financial barriers of trying to raise initial funding, the communities involved can now focus on leading their projects and developing a sustainable energy plan for their local area. The Local Authority involved will re-coup the initial funding cost from SEAI.
Speaking about this bridge funding William Walsh, CEO of SEAI, said:
“Community action plays a central role in Ireland’s response to the climate crisis. All over Ireland groups are coming together to create sustainable energy projects that will benefit their communities and radically reduce their climate impact. I am delighted that we can help these communities achieve their sustainable energy ambitions by making it easier to access initial funding costs in collaboration with Local Authorities. SEAI will work with Local Authorities across the country to roll this out in due course, making this type of funding more accessible to interested communities.”
Achill Island is the first community in the Sustainable Energy Community network to avail of this bridge funding, with a further 8 communities already signed up to the initiative.
Sabine Wandel from Achill Sustainable Energy Community said:
“Receiving this funding through Mayo County Council means we can start our energy masterplan straight away. Our aim is to create a comprehensive blueprint for the future of the Parish of Achill and beyond. We are delighted that Mayo County Council and the other local authorities involved in this programme are now supporting communities to make the changes that need to be made to combat the climate emergency.”
Speaking about the bridge funding Paddy Mahon, Chair of the County and City Management Association’s Climate Action, Transport and Network Committee, and Chief Executive of Longford County Council said:
“This bridge funding partnership is a significant step in the local authority sector’s ambition to mobilise climate action in our communities. Local authorities want to work with communities in very practical ways to support and encourage them to embrace climate action and contribute to the development of low carbon resilient villages, towns, and cities. This partnership with SEAI is a great example of that, allowing communities to assess their energy use and identify options with no financial outlay.”
SEAI provides mentoring and grants of up to €25,000 for more than 560 communities across Ireland. Funding allows communities to undertake a baseline assessment of their energy use, carry out energy audits of their homes, community buildings and local businesses, and helps them to identify the most suitable renewable energy solutions for them.
Further information on the community network and how to get involved is available on the SEAI Sustainable Community Energy webpage at: www.seai.ie/community-energy/sustainable-energy-communities/