Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is delighted to announce that it has partnered with both Belarmine Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) and Shankill Action for a Green Earth (SAGE) - Sustainable Energy Community, to provide bridging finance, to support the preparation of the first comprehensive Energy Master Plans (EMP) for their areas. The bridging finance as provided by the Council, has helped the recent procurement of expert consultants who will work with the SECs on their comprehensive local Energy Master Plans. The completed EMPs will include a Register of Opportunities, which is a range of projects that the SEC could move forward with into the future.
There are currently twenty-four registered SECs across the County and this number is growing. These groups form part of the SEC Dublin Mid-East region, which is co-ordinated by Codema – Dublin’s Energy Agency. Each SEC in the region is provided with a local mentor to guide them through the three-step process of 'Learn-Plan-Do’. This planned approach is aimed at assisting local SECs to be become more energy-efficient, use renewable energy and consider smart energy solutions. Further information on how to join the dlr Sustainable Energy Community network is available at: https://www.codema.ie/sec/meet-the-secs/dun-laoghaire-rathdown-secs/
Speaking on the Sustainable Energy Communities programme, An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Lettie McCarthy said: ‘One of the highlights of my term as Cathaoirleach was to host the launch of the inaugural Dublin Climate Action Week 2021, at our prestigious dlr LexIcon. Throughout the week we were reminded of the continued need for locally led action, in addressing the challenging national climate and energy targets to 2030, 2050 and beyond. The Sustainable Energy Community network is an exemplar platform for local groups to come together and pursue climate action projects, that are best suited to their areas. I with to commend both Belarmine and Shankill Action For a Green Earth, in advancing to the preparation of their tailored local Energy Master Plans, the learnings from which can guide other SECs across our County’.
Gavin Harte, the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdwon SEC mentor has stated, ‘On behalf of both Sustainable Energy Communities, we are delighted that our working relationship with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has been strengthened through this new partnership. The bridging finance as provided by the Council, is a much-valued support to both SECs in moving through the 'Learn-Plan-Do’ process. The learnings from both detailed Energy Master Plans will help us advance the SEC network in the County, which is growing in line with the wider national SEC network, as managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Paul Kennedy, Acting Director of Infrastructure & Climate Change said: ‘Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has a crucial role to play in both mainstreaming climate action across our own services and functions, and also in encouraging and demonstrating climate leadership across our local communities. By partnering with local Sustainable Energy Communities, we can continue to support their commitment to making progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our County’.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is the national co-ordinator for the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) programme, which currently consists of over 400 communities across Ireland, who are interested in community energy. Under this network, groups of people can come together to improve how energy is used for the benefit of their community. They look at how to use energy in a sustainable, holistic way. Energy communities often look at projects in homes, transport and local business. They also look at community buildings such as schools, community centres, and sports facilities.