Mayo County Council Partnership with SEAI Proves a Success One Year On
Last year a new partnership between the SEAI and Mayo County Council was formed which provides bridge funding for communities up to €25,000 towards the upfront costs of completing their Energy Masterplan. Through this memorandum of understanding Erris Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) have now completed their Energy Masterplan, making it the first plan to be completed under the initiative. The Energy Masterplan helps people to understand the energy demand and supply in their community and reveals opportunities to lower energy consumption and save money.
Rose Conway-Walsh TD, who launched the Erris Masterplan on May 16th at Ballycroy Community Centre, said “the Energy Masterplan enables people to play their part. People in Erris understand the need to tackle climate change and reduce emissions. We must make actions affordable and accessible. A collective community drive such as that presented by the Masterplan can cultivate a very positive sustainable ethos in Erris. Our interdependency and shared responsibility are fully recognised in this Masterplan”.
Under the partnership, Achill SEC and Mayo Dark Skies’ Energy Masterplans are also near completion, while work is underway on Energy Masterplans for Inishturk Island, Clare Island, Crossmolina and Castlebar communities.
Dr Orla Nic Suibhne, who is the Sustainable Energy Community mentor on behalf of SEAI in Co Mayo stated that “the very successful partnership between the Local Authority and SEAI is empowering communities to become more engaged in the low carbon energy transition by delivering the energy master plans through a much easier financial pathway”.
SEAI and Mayo County Council’s partnership provides 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 an Energy Masterplan for their local area. Mayo County Council re-coups the initial funding cost from SEAI.
SEAI provides mentoring and grants of up to €25,000 for more than 660 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