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Recent global events, including the invasion of Ukraine, have led to a rise in global energy costs. The government has already implemented a number of measures to help ease the impact on enterprises, including a temporary reduction in the excise duties charged, by 20 cent per litre of petrol, 15 cent per litre of diesel, and 2 cent in the excise duty charged on marked gas oil.

There are also a number of other government supports and resources available to help mitigate the impact of these price rises on enterprises and reduce energy usage:

Advice

Climate Toolkit

Climate Toolkit 4 Business allows SMEs to input some simple information and get an estimate of their carbon footprint and a personalised action plan to reduce it.

Green for Micro

Green for Micro – Local Enterprise Office offers two days of intensive mentoring including green transition advice and technical support to a wide range of micro-enterprises with 10 or fewer employees. This support is free of charge for eligible enterprises and represents the potential for increased efficiencies within companies that adopt these principles.

SEAI Energy Academy for energy efficiency training

The SEAI Energy Academy – SEAI 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.

SEAI Large Industry Energy Network (LIEN)

The Large Industry Energy Network (LIEN) – SEAI members are companies with an annual energy spend of €1 million or more. SEAI work with these companies to improve their energy performance and assist them to lead on the transition, and inspire others to take action, by sharing their experience. 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.

Grants

Action plan and training supports

SEAI Energy Audits for SMEs

The Support Scheme for Energy Audits – SEAI offers a €2,000 voucher to SMEs to undertake a bespoke energy audit of their business. The SEAI energy audit is an important step for businesses that want to save money, save energy and enhance their brand.

Climate Planning Fund for Business (established under National Recovery and Resilience Fund)

  • GreenStart
    GreenStart – Enterprise Ireland
     offers up to €5,000 to introduce environmental best practice systems and structures and lay a foundation for future environmental improvement projects including energy and carbon management systems.
  • GreenPlus
    GreenPlus – Enterprise Ireland 
    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. 

Works grants

Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund (established under National Recovery and Resilience Fund)

SEAI EXEED Grant Scheme

The EXEED Grant Scheme – SEAI is designed for organisations who are planning an energy investment project. Grant support of up to €1,000,000 per project is available.

SEAI Support Scheme for Renewable Heat  

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat – SEAI is open to commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating, public sector and other non-domestic heat users. The scheme offers 30% of installation costs of selected renewable technologies as well a multi-annual payment, for a period of up to 15 years.

SEAI Community Grant

The Grants for Sustainable Community Projects – SEAI support energy efficiency community projects through capital funding, partnerships, and technical support with grant supports 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.

SEAI Accelerated Capital Allowance

For businesses who want to reduce their tax bill and energy costs, the Accelerated Capital Allowance – SEAI is a tax incentive encouraging investment in energy saving technology. 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 Register – SEAI.

SEAI Commercial EV Grant

The Electric Vehicle Grants – SEAI  provides grant supports towards the purchase of new N1 category electric vehicles for business and public entities.  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 BEVs when purchased commercially.

Research, development and innovation grants

Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund (established under National Recovery and Resilience Fund)

  • Innovation Vouchers
    Innovation Vouchers – Enterprise Ireland
     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.
  • Agile Innovation Fund
    The Agile Innovation Fund – Enterprise Ireland provides grant support of up to 50% for the development of new or improved products, services or processes, in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation.
  • Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) Fund
    The Research, Development and Innovation Fund – Enterprise Ireland supports 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 
  • R&D Feasibility Grant
    The R&D Feasibility Grant offers IDA Ireland clients assistance to carry out explorative work assessing the resource requirements and the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of potential R&D projects in the area of sustainability.

Other general supports that may assist business at this time

Given the simultaneous impact of Brexit, COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis on businesses, the State backed loan schemes will meet the needs of many SMEs seeking to respond to these economic shocks. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and the finance providers participating in the State backed loan schemes can advise SMEs on their eligibility for these loans.

Brexit Impact Loan Scheme

The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme – SBCI makes up to €330 million in lending available for terms of one to six years. Loans range from €25,000 to €1.5 million per eligible business, with loans up to €500,000 available unsecured. The BILS will remain available to the end of December 2022.

Microfinance Ireland loan packages

Microfinance Ireland (MFI) provide loans to help start-ups and established microenterprises (businesses with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of less than €2 million) to get the finance they need for their business. MFI provides vital support to microenterprises by filling the lending gap in the market by lending to business that cannot obtain loans from other commercial lenders. Also, mentoring can be provided from an experienced business mentor in the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). Loans range from €5,000 to €25,000 for up to 5 years per eligible microenterprise business.

Lean for Micro

Lean for Micro – Local Enterprise Office is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within micro enterprises.

Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance.

The LEO Lean for Micro business programme helps to:

  • identify issues and potential improvement areas
  • provide support to implement
  • achieve savings and improvements in capability and capacity to deliver

Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme

Through the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme – SEAI, energy providers (gas, electricity and solid fuel) have an obligation to help customers decarbonise – contact any of these providers (known as Obligated Parties) to assess available support options.

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