SEAI established Dundalk 2020 as the first exemplar Sustainable Energy Community in Ireland in partnership with Louth County Council. Activities began in a 4 sq.km. sustainable energy zone (SEZ) area where approximately 2,500 people live, 3,500 work and 5,850 study. Dundalk now provides a showcase for the innovative technologies, policies and practices that are needed to create Sustainable Energy Communities nationwide.
In Dundalk the energy efficiency measures undertaken has resulted in savings of approximately €500,000 per annum, spread across all sectors. It is estimated that through implantation of projects in Dundalk approximately 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide is avoided per annum.
SEAI will select an additional five communities through a competitive process to work in partnership with SEAI in developing and delivering an exemplar SEC. The initiative must be led by a Local Authority. Together, the six exemplar communities will demonstrate best practice in technology, techniques, policy and behaviour through implementing a series of local cross sectoral projects. The five communities will be selected in a staged process with the Round I Call to select the first two.