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From a community spending €17 million on fossil fuels, a towns plan to become energy sufficient by 2030, to the devastating effects climate change is having in communities in the South East, the SEC (Sustainable Energy Communities) Southeast Showcase event highlighted the great steps communities are taking towards the energy transition.

On Wednesday 6th of March, South East Energy Agency, in partnership with SEAI, held the SEC Southeast Showcase event in the Brandon House Hotel in New Ross, Co. Wexford. Bringing together Sustainable Energy Communities from across Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford.

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Liam O’Brien – Bagenalstown SEC

Sustainable Energy Communities Stories

Joan McDermott from New Ross SEC, set the tone on the day by brining attention the reality of how Climate Change is impacting her community through increased flooding, devasting businesses homes and infrastructure. Joan a native of New Ross explained that throughout her lifetime she has never seen as much flooding as they now receive. Highlighting the key reason communities are making positive changes in addressing their local energy use to address a global issue.

Mijke Jansen from Barrow Valley Hub based in Graiguenamanagh, explained their goal of generating all of the towns energy needs locally by 2030, an ambitious target but one in which they are well on there way towards through their work within the SEAI SEC programme.

Anne O’Reilly from Wexford SEC shared the fantastic progress the group have had supporting energy conservation for homeowners in Wexford Town. Through their pilot project the group have supported over 68 households with SEAI Warmer Home Scheme applications, with 7 homes benefiting from retrofit works under the scheme.

Liam O’Brien, from Bagenalstown SEC, revealed a staggering revelation: their small town was expending €17 million annually on fossil fuels. This eye-opening figure emerged from funded Energy Master Plans, offering communities comprehensive insights into their energy consumption and the potential for renewable sources.


Michael Kinchella – Southeast Energy Agency

Pete Dunne, of Callan Community Energy, presented plans for a portable solar PV trailer, a versatile solution for delivering locally generated energy to those in need.

Beyond the inspiring narratives from SEC groups, the event featured speakers from various agencies offering support for community projects. Clinton Donovan, Climate Action Coordinator for Wexford County Council; Barry Symes of Community Finance Ireland; and Susan Richardson, SEC Programme Executive for SEAI, all shared insights and resources to aid communities in their sustainable endeavours.

The SEC Southeast Showcase event was not merely a forum for discussion but a testament to the proactive steps communities are taking to mitigate climate change and forge a sustainable future. As these initiatives continue to gain momentum, the path towards energy sufficiency becomes clearer, offering hope and inspiration to communities worldwide.

If you are interested in getting your community involved in the SEC Programme please contact your dedicated county mentor, details can be found below.

Marina De Costa – Carlow Mentor –

Therese Curran – Kilkenny Mentor –

Yvonne Byrne – Wexford & Waterford Mentor –