Work to start on Achill energy masterplan

ACHILL Island is leading the way in community energy upgrades.

A new partnership between the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Atlantic Seaboard North Climate Action Regional Office, comprising counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and Galway, will pay communities up to €25,000 towards the upfront costs of their energy upgrade projects.

Achill Island is the first community in the Sustainable Energy Community Network to avail of this bridge funding, with a further eight communities already signed up to the initiative.

The partnership will provide vital bridge funding to assist communities in achieving their sustainable energy ambitions.

By removing the financial barriers of trying to raise initial funding, the communities involved can focus on leading their projects and developing a sustainable energy plan for their local area.

The local authority involved will re-coup the initial funding cost from SEAI.

Sabine Wandel from Achill Sustainable Energy Community said: “Receiving this funding through Mayo County Council means we can start our energy masterplan straight away.

“Our aim is to create a comprehensive blueprint for the future of the Parish of Achill and beyond.

“We are delighted that Mayo County Council and the other local authorities involved in this programme are now supporting communities to make the changes that need to be made to combat the climate emergency.”

Paddy Mahon, chair of the County and City Management Association’s Climate Action, Transport and Network Committee, and Chief Executive of Longford County Council, said: “This bridge funding partnership is a significant step in the local authority sector’s ambition to mobilise climate action in our communities. Local authorities want to work with communities in very practical ways to support and encourage them to embrace climate action and contribute to the development of low carbon resilient villages, towns and cities.

“This partnership with SEAI is a great example of that, allowing communities to assess their energy use and identify options with no financial outlay.”

Further information on the community network and how to get involved is available on the SEAI Sustainable Community Energy webpage.