Sustainable Energy Communities

The Sustainable Energy Communities program was developed by the seai to get a better understanding of how communities use energy and to identify opportunities to save energy across all sectors.

A Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is a community in which everyone works together to develop a sustainable energy system for the benefit of the community. This is achieved by: aiming to be energy efficient, using renewable energy where feasible & adopting smart energy solutions. A SEC can include all the different energy users in the community including homes, sports clubs, community centres, churches and businesses.

There are many benefits of becoming a Sustainable Energy Community such as:

  • Achieve financial and energy savings
  • Improve public wellbeing through enhanced comfort from energy efficient buildings
  • Boost local employment
  • Promote community building through partnership approach<
  • Build capacity and leverage funding
  • Contribute to national energy reduction targets


The NCE Energy hub can help communities interested in setting up a Sustainable Energy Community. We can provide support and guidance when it comes to applying for grants and funding.
Contact us now to find out more


Sustainable Energy Communities

Blackpool, Glen & Ballyvolane (BG&B) SEC

The vision of the steering group for the Blackpool, Glen & Ballyvolane (BG&B) sec is to protect the earth, save money & keep warm in the process.

The BG&B SEC is a voluntary gathering of people from the Blackpool, Glen & Ballyvolane area of Cork. Our aim is to improve the existing building fabric of properties in the area, to reduce the need for energy consumption in parallel with the integration of renewable energy sources. These measures will benefit the environment, lower energy bills and create energy independence while providing spaces that are more comfortable and contribute positively to the user’s health & wellbeing.

We intend to be the first diocese to work together on a large-scale community ‘Deep Retrofit project. This project will highlight the importance of creating more sustainable communities which use renewable energy.

We will be working with existing networks in our community such as family resource centres, churches, sport clubs and local businesses. We have also been looking at innovative finance models to fund energy efficiency projects. The NCE energy hub & Blackpool credit union are joining up to provide lower interest rate loans to members of our community interested in improving the energy performance of their property through the Blackpool, Glen & Ballyvolane Sustainable Energy Community.

Anyone interested in getting involved in this sec is welcome to contact or visit the NCE Energy Hub

which is based in Farranferris College.

Carbery Housing Association SEC

Carbery Housing Association’s vision is to provide an international example of community, self-organized, energy efficient social housing. Their aim is to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 60% (from the baseline at acquisition) in all their properties. They plan to implement this through a combination of energy retrofitting, renewable energy installation and behavioural change supported by the installation of sensors in properties which will monitor energy use.

Carbery Housing Association’s aim is to develop and promote a model for community-led, energy efficient social housing, which could be implemented by other housing bodies in Ireland. The SEAI have granted Carbery Housing Association Sustainable Energy Community funding to carry out an Energy Master Plan. This involves survey all the properties and produce a retrofitting road map.

Carbery Housing Association seeks to actively involve residents in the management of their homes. They have visited residents to discuss their participation and they will discuss their energy options with them as the project unfolds.


NCE Insulation are involved in a European Project called Elighthouse which looks at improving energy efficiency in domestic buildings. NCE Insulation have joined up with Carbery Housing Association as part of this project to install an energy management system in five Carbery Housing properties. The aim of installing the energy management system is to provide information that we can advise residents on actions that could improve energy behaviour and reduce energy bills such as changing times of energy using activities, changing suppliers to reduce costs, upgrading appliances and reducing standby loads.