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Local Authority Support for SEC Groups

23rd September, 2020

We are delighted to announce that all 7 local authorities in the Dublin Mid-East Region are now actively participating in the SEC programme as lead applicants for the energy masterplan process.

What is an Energy Masterplan? One of the major opportunities in the SEC programme is for communities to avail of a 100% grant to pay an energy consultant to carry out an energy masterplan. The consultant will look at the infrastructure and building types within your community and ( with the communities help) develop a register of opportunities. This is a possible roadmap for energy efficiency and renewable solutions that could be undertaken, such as housing retrofits, PV panels etc, to move the SEC towards carbon neutrality.

How do I avail of this? If your mentor thinks you are ready, they will advise your SEC to move to the plan stage of their journey. One of the main outputs of this will be the energy masterplan (EMP). SEAI will fund the development of the masterplan at a rate of 100% up to a max grant of €25,000, most grants, due to the associated energy spend will fall within the €10-15,000 range ( incl VAT). Usually the SEC would have to procure an energy consultant and pay the full invoice up front and receive the monies back at a later date once all paperwork is approved. This has become a barrier to some SECs who may not have access to a cashflow of this size.

How can the local authority help? All 7 local authorities have agreed to act as the lead applicant for the EMP stage. This means they will have an energy consultant(s) in place to bid for the work. It also means they will pay these consultants and then apply for the grant themselves thus helping SECs who may not have access to a group cash source. It is still the SECs responsibility for the quality of the application and to manage and ensure a quality EMP and applications can still be rejected before a consultant is appointed.

When will this be available to my SEC? In some of the 7 local authorities this process is already in place, for others such as the Dublin Local Authorities, the process is being set up and will take some months to complete the procurement and administrations. Please contact your local mentor for further details.