Potential Funding in Ireland


The funding landscape in Ireland is challenging at present for community groups looking to develop community renewable energy products. However, this being said, there are still a range of different funding options which may be worth considering. Below are examples of funding sources for community groups such as the Better Energy Communities programme (which is administered by the SEAI), the LEADER programme and various social finance providers (Clann Credo and Western Development Commission). Clár ICH have created a toolkit (please see below) to assist community groups in applying for funding. Through the RECENT project, we work with all kinds of community groups and we would be delighted to assist you with your funding applications. Below are examples of funding sources for community groups such as the Better Energy Communities programme (which is administered by the SEAI), the LEADER programme and various social finance providers (Clann Credo and Western Development Commission). Clár ICH have created a toolkit (please see below) to assist community groups in applying for funding. Through the RECENT project, we work with all kinds of community groups and we would be delighted to assist you with your funding applications.


Better Energy Communities Programme

Better Energy Communities is Ireland’s National Retrofitting Programme with grant support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) of up to 28million euro annually. The programme supports new and innovative approaches to achieving energy efficiency in Irish communities. Upgrades can take place across all building infrastructures to reduce energy consumption and costs including domestic households, community buildings, commercial buildings, social housing schemes, religious and local authority buildings.

The list below outlines the types of measures that are supported through the BEC programme:

• Building Fabric Upgrades

• Technology and System upgrades

• Integration of Control Systems

• Integration of renewable energy sources

• Domestic Combined Fabric Upgrade

• Single Building Demonstration projects will be considered for SEC Pilot Grant.


Sustainable Energy Communities Programme (SEC)

A Sustainable Energy Community is a community in which everyone works together to develop a sustainable energy system for the benefit of the community.

This is achieved by:

• Communities aiming, as far as possible, to be energy efficient

• Communities using renewable energy where feasible

• Communities developing decentralised energy supplies

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland set up the Sustainable Energy Communities programme to enable and to encourage communities to change how energy is used at a community level. The programme provides a range of tools and supports to help guide each community, along with their members, along a sustainable energy journey that comprises of 3 key steps.

Successful BEC and SEC projects must demonstrate some or all of the following characteristics:

• Community benefits

• Multiple elements

• Mix of sustainable solutions

• A clear road map

• Innovation and project ambition

• Justified energy savings

• An ability to deliver the project


LEADER

Since its launch in 1991, LEADER has provided rural communities, across the EU, with the resources to enable local partners to actively engage and direct the local development of their area, through a community-led local development (CLLD).LEADER is a French acronym (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de econo-mies Rurale), which roughly translates as ‘Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development.’ Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by a Local Action Group (LAG), through the framework of a Local Development Strategy (LDS). A LAG is made up of people from the local community as well as from the local public and private sector. The LDS is a plan that is developed by rural communities to support sustainable development of their sub-regional area.

Community Capacity Assessment for Funding Applications

Social Finance

Social finance involves the provision of repayable loan finance at affordable rates to community-based projects and local development initiatives (including individual and community micro-enterprise), which yield a social and financial return. Social Finance is repayable loan finance provided by socially minded investors. When providing social finance, the key consideration is social outcome and repayment capacity.