Sustainable Energy Communities – developing a community response to climate action in Meath
The Climate Action Plan: To Tackle Climate Breakdown 2019 sets out a number of strong actions and objectives to meet our 2030 targets and aim for climate neutrality by 2050. There is no doubt we are laggards when it comes to climate action but things are changing, our renewable energy sector is doing well and there is a greater acceptance that we must all work together to achieve the targets while leaving no-one behind. An area of great opportunity lies around the retro-fitting of homes, to reduce emissions and more importantly for dwellers less energy bills and a more comfortable home.
The Sustainable Energy Communities initiative run through the SEAI is an excellent starting place for communities to collectively become energy efficient.
Building an SEC
Batterstown’s Sustainable Energy Community, set up in 2018, was the brainchild of Philip McCormack, a former engineer from Co. Meath. Five members in total make up this group, each with a different skillset, but with one common goal; to make their community a more energy efficient place to live and future proof it for generations to come.
Philip and his team attended various workshops with SEAI, to learn about the process of becoming a sustainable energy community and how to implement positive change in their locality. Workshops are a useful tool for communities in developing skills and knowledge from the onset.
Philip and his neighbours used the specialised expertise of SEAI in their plan to implement a sustainable vision for their community.
One of Philip’s main objectives was to collaborate with Meath County Council to drive their vision forward and begin the process of decarbonising their locality. He knew, with the support of their County Council, Batterstown were in a better position to actualise their plan.
The strategic partnership with Meath County Council was formed to facilitate and deliver an Energy Master Plan for the locality. The aim of an Energy Master Plan is to allow a community to understand its’ current and future energy needs in terms of electricity, heat and transport consumption. Meath County Council procured and paid for consultants (subsequently recouped from SEAI), but this arrangement meant that Batterstown did not have to become involved in the logistics of procurement nor raise funds up front to undertake the Energy Master Plan. No one was left out of pocket.
In recent good news Philip has become the mentor for County Meath under the guidance of Codema who are the regional co-ordinators for Dublin and Mid East and we look forward to working with both and helping to assist others on their SEC journey.
Climate Action Officer & Climate Reality Leader
Meath County Council
If your group is interested in developing an SEC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information is available on the SEAI website: