SEAI calls on communities to apply for energy funding

€13.5 million has been made available for Better Energy Community Fund

David Baker
by David Baker on 21st February, 2014

Irish communities have been advised to apply for the funding made available for energy efficiency improvements and upgrades by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

This year, a total of €13.5 million has been made available for efficiency upgrades, with a particular focus placed on the most vulnerable energy poor households. The €13.5 million has been allocated to two separate community programmes, which each aim to improve efficiency through different means.

The Better Energy Communities programme has been allocated €8.5 million of the available funding and is intended for “pioneering partnerships” to build retrofits within Irish communities in order to improve efficiency levels.

“Better Energy Communities has brought huge benefits to participating communities over the last few years, showing the value of cooperation and local action in achieving energy efficiency savings,” said Pat Rabbitte T.D., the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

The Better Energy Area Based Programme, on the other hand, targets vulnerable homeowners, who currently reside in what are considered to be energy poor homes.

Established in 2013, it is designed to supply funding for projects which will provide energy upgrades to these people and €5 million has been made available for this purpose.

Projects resulting from both schemes have been set a deadline of Friday 31st October 2014 for completion.

Last year, through the Better Energy Communities and Better Energy Areas schemes, the Government provided funding totalling €15 million to 84 community projects across the country. These projects were able to upgrade energy efficiency at more than 3,800 buildings in total, including 2,800 vulnerable houses.

“This year the Better Energy Community programmes are all about using innovative approaches to deliver energy upgrades to even more homes and community buildings,” said the Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Dr. Brian Motherway.

“We know that last year communities improved the energy efficiency of thousands of buildings, in the process creating jobs and saving money. We want to build on this success and we are hugely encouraged by the creativity and enthusiasm we have seen so far.”

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