Community Energy Grants Scheme now open – Lowry

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

Derryadd windfarm

The community grants scheme is now open

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is administering the new scheme,

The Community Energy Grants Scheme,  funded under the National Retrofit Programme, is now open for applications. It offers grant support for energy efficiency and  renewable energy projects throughout the country.

The Scheme supports substantial investment in energy upgrades to homes, community and commercial buildings. This includes rented properties, businesses, sports and community facilities, public sector buildings and schools. The successful communities will have warmer and healthier buildings, lower energy bills and reduced harmful CO2 emissions. There are also significant employment and competitiveness benefits locally and nationally.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is administering the new scheme, which is an enhanced version of the previous Better Energy Communities Scheme.  

This support follows on from previous supports to 430 community projects already which are generating €70 million in annual energy savings.

The Scheme will deliver multiple local and community benefits, including; Facilitate the upgrade of hundreds of homes, including privately rented properties, to a high B2 BER standard. Support community, business and public sector bodies to become more energy efficient or upgrade their buildings - cutting costs and carbon emissions. Provide support to help Sustainable Energy Communities deliver on local energy project goals.  Support renewable energy solutions where included as part of a broader project. 

It also supports a number of important Strategic National Goals, such as promoting the growth of the retrofit and energy service company market thereby creating more quality sustainable and green jobs. Reducing energy waste, energy bills and carbon emissions which helps us meet national and EU efficiency and environment goals. 

Deputy Michael Lowry TD

The scheme has introduced some administrative changes for applicants, building on community feedback in previous schemes: The maximum evaluation period is reduced to eight weeks. Support for energy upgrades in privately rented properties  - increased to 35% for eligible measures. The scheme will now operate a significantly longer works window of January to October. Maximum funding for larger projects has been increased to €2 million

Project co-ordinators combine home retrofits, business sector and or community or public sector facility projects together into an aggregated project package that meet the criteria stipulated by SEAI who operate the scheme.     

Projects are scored based on factors which include value for money, energy saving impact, carbon savings, partnership and community approach and delivery capacity with funding awarded to qualifying projects on a first come first served basis until the funding is committed. 

More information on the community grants is available from SEAI at https://www.seai.ie/grants/community-grants/