Here is a useful guide for Businesses on the range of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Schemes in place
- Solar PV Grant (announced Thursday 22 September 2022)
This new grant for businesses, public organisations and community groups provides grant funding of up to €2,400 towards the installation of solar PV technology up to a maximum of 6kWp (approximately 16 solar panels over 25m2). Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels convert energy from the sun into electricity, reducing the amount of electricity a building draws from the national grid and thus lowering electricity bills. At the current high electricity prices, a business might expect to save €2,000-3,000 per annum from a solar PV system supported under this scheme. This means that the installation can pay for itself quickly. Any excess energy can be exported to the grid, with customers compensated for the excess (that is exported) by their electricity provider under the Clean Export Guarantee scheme which is managed by the CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities).
Find out more and apply through the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland).
- Climate Toolkit 4 Business
A dedicated website climatetoolkit4business.gov.ie allows businesses to input some simple information and get an estimate of your carbon footprint and a personalised plan to reduce it.
This is a free-of-charge programme, available to companies with up to 10 employees. Two days of mentoring with a specialist Green Consultant is available, including recommendations on specific changes which your business can implement. The consultant will prepare a detailed Green for Micro Report on your business. It is particularly suited to businesses in construction and the built environment, retail, manufacturing, textiles and fashion, food, electronics, plastics, and packaging. See localenterprise.ie
- Energy Audit
Your business may be eligible for a €2,000 voucher towards the cost of a professional energy audit. An energy audit can be useful for businesses to save money and energy. An energy audit may be carried out on buildings, processes, or systems and it is a three-step process which involves preparation, a site visit and reporting. The audit report that compiles the findings will help you to understand:
- how much energy your business uses
- the equipment and processes that use the most energy
- what actions you should take to save energy, and their estimated cost and impact
- SEAI Energy Academy for energy efficiency training
The SEAI Energy Academy is a free, online, e-learning platform designed to help businesses increase their energy efficiency and reduce their energy related costs. The SEAI Energy Academy allows anyone to learn with short, interactive, animated modules. It is mobile friendly and offers flexible, self-paced learning with access available 24/7.
- EXEED Certified grant
SEAI provides grant support for projects which are following the EXEED Certified standard for Excellence in Energy Efficient Design. Small companies can receive up to a 70% grant for pre-investment professional services to implement EXEED processes and up to a 50% grant for eligible expenditure to implement EXEED processes.
- Support Scheme for Renewable Heat
This grant scheme is designed to promote the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial and agricultural users not covered by the emissions trading system. The Scheme will support an installation grant and/or on-going operational support. The installation grant provides funding of up to 30%.
Find out more and apply through SEAI.
- Electric Vehicles
SEAI provides grant supports towards the purchase of new N1 category electric vehicles for business. N1 category vehicles are typically small goods carrying vans with a technically permissible maximum mass not exceeding 3500kg. A maximum grant of €3,800 is available for qualifying N1 category EVs when purchased commercially. Approved EVs with a list price of less than €14,000 will not receive a grant. This grant applies to new vehicles only.
- SEAI Community Grant
The SEAI Community Grant underpins energy efficiency community projects through capital funding, partnerships, and technical measures with grants up to €5,000,000. The scheme empowers Businesses, Public Sector Organisations, Communities, Housing Associations & Local Authorities to lead deep energy efficient upgrades on the buildings. Businesses looking to get involved in a Community Grant application should contact one of the project coordinators, available on seai.ie
- Accelerated Capital Allowances for energy efficient products and equipment
Accelerated Capital Allowances allow businesses to reduce your taxable profits by the full level of expenditure on energy efficient equipment in the year the investment is made. Companies, sole traders and farmers that operate and pay corporation tax in Ireland can avail of the ACA scheme. View a list of the technologies and products on the Triple E Products Search Page on seai.ie.
- SEAI Large Industry Energy Network (LIEN)
SEAI work with companies with an annual energy spend of €1 million or more to improve their energy performance and assist them to lead on the transition. Special working groups within the Network have developed best practice guides on how manage energy performance. LIEN members report annually on energy consumption and projects undertaken to help increase efficiency. Companies are eligible if they are either spending at least €1 million on energy annually, or are certified to or pursuing ISO 50001 certification.
- Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme
Through the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme, energy providers (gas, electricity and solid fuel) have an obligation to help customers decarbonise – contact any of these providers (known as Obligated Parties) on seai.ie to assess available options.
- Strategic Consultancy Grant
This grant is designed to assist large energy users develop a carbon reduction roadmap. It provides grant rates of up to 50-80% of eligible costs, with typical maximum funding of €35k. It is open to Enterprise Ireland clients.
- Climate Action Voucher (operating under the Green Transition Fund)
This is an €1,800 grant to engage consultants over two days to provide independent technical or advisory services support to develop an initial sustainability or circular economy action plan. The Voucher is open to Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta clients.
- GreenStart (operating under the Green Transition Fund)
Grant support of up to €5,000 is available to Enterprise Ireland clients to hire a green consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment. The aim of the GreenStart assignment is to improve environmental performance through greater resource efficiency helping companies achieve competitive advantage and greater market share through cost savings. Projects may vary in scope from implementing a structured environmental management and reporting system to understanding the carbon or environmental footprint of products or services.
- GreenPlus (operating under the Green Transition Fund)
GreenPlus provides grant funding for 50% of training costs to align to international standards and frameworks and to develop a comprehensive climate change and sustainability plan. Open to Enterprise Ireland clients, eligible costs include External Training or Advisory Services provided by a suitable Service provider, some salary costs of up to 10 company green project team members and training course fees.
- Capital investment for decarbonisation technologies (operating under the Green Transition Fund)
This fund provides investment in carbon reducing technologies in manufacturing combustion processes. It provides a max. grant rate of 30-50%, dependent on company size, up to a maximum funding of €1m. Open to Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and IDA Ireland clients.
- Energy Monitoring and Tracking Systems (operating under Green Transition Fund)
This fund incentivises companies to put in place monitoring and targeting systems to begin accounting for the carbon footprint of their activities. A grant of up to 50% is available for expenditure of up to €100,000 on hardware costs for new metering systems (e.g. electricity, gas, diesel, oil, water, steam, loggers), and reasonable installation and commissioning costs.
- Innovation Vouchers
Innovation vouchers provide grant funding up to a maximum of €5,000 to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation. It is open to all small and medium-sized limited companies registered in Ireland. More info at enterprise-ireland.com.
- Exploring Innovation Grant
This provides grant funding up to a maximum of €35,000, based on a grant rate of 50% to enable better planning in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation. The outputs should include a project plan that could form the basis of an application for R&D or other relevant funding from Enterprise Ireland. It is open to EI clients or potential EI clients with 10 or more employees. See enterprise-ireland.com.
- Agile Innovation Fund
Grants of up to 50% are available for the development of new or improved products, services or processes, in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation. The Agile Innovation Fund supports the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes, where the total project cost is less than €300,000. It is open to all established, registered, Irish based manufacturing or internationally traded services companies that are trading with positive EBITDA.See enterprise-ireland.com.
- Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) Fund
This Fund underpins the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation, which will have a competitive advantage in a company’s target market and provide enhanced customer experience. Open to all all registered companies that are trading with positive EBITDA. See enterprise-ireland.com.
- Small Firms Investment in Energy Efficiency Scheme
Announced in Budget 2023, the Local Enterprise Office network will start a new grant for microenterprises for energy efficiency in 2023. The Small Firms Investment in Energy Efficiency Scheme will provide a grant to companies to encourage capital investment in projects to reduce carbon emissions. Further details will issue in due course.
State-backed Loan Schemes
The above list does not include the range of State-backed loan schemes in place. Budget 2023 includes a new Growth & Sustainability Loan Scheme, which will make up to €500 million in low-cost investment loans of up to 10 years available to SMEs, including farmers and fishers, with no collateral required for loans up to €500,000. A minimum of 30% of the lending volume will be targeted towards Environmental Sustainability purposes. Further details will be announced in due course.