A new good practice titled the Northside Community Enterprise Sustainable Energy Community (NCE SEC) has been published in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform good practice database.

The NCE SEC engages with communities seeking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by offering professional support and low-cost financial strategies.

NCE was established in 1993 to provide education and training for people who were long term unemployed. In 2003, NCE set up NCE Insulation, a new initiative to install energy efficiency improvement measures in the homes of the elderly and low-income families. NCE expanded its training offering to include the installation of Attic and cavity wall insulation. NCE has collaborated with communities throughout Ireland to reduce carbon emissions and improve the energy efficiency of their homes and buildings.

In 2018, NCE set up the ENERGY-HUB, a community energy support office offering guidance to Sustainable Energy Communities on how best to develop, finance and implement energy efficiency retrofitting projects (One Stop Shop). The energy-hubs project planning phase is designed to align with the funding available through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Irelands (SEAI) better energy communities’ scheme (BEC). By pooling resources from many communities together the Hub is able to create projects of scale with multiple partners that attracts funding from the BEC scheme.

One of the Platform experts have commented, “this good practice describes what dedicated structures should do to effectively support energy communities…by offering training, raising awareness on energy efficiency, helping citizens and SMEs identify energy saving potentials and mobilise financial resources to carry out energy efficiency interventions, dedicated structures like NCE-SEC in Ireland are one of the essential ‘ingredients’ enabling the transition.”

Policymakers around Europe can now consult this good practice online and participate through Policy Learning Platform for further exchange of experiences.

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