I encourage small businesses across the country to apply for funding under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.
‘The total funding allocation secured in 2018 by Minister Naughten is €3 million, which is a significant increase on the 2017 budget of €550,000.
‘Applications are now open and the increase in funding means the Scheme can be rolled out more widely across the country benefitting even more small businesses this year.
‘The purpose of the support Scheme is to help SMEs reduce their energy use and costs. The grant will cover more than one third of the cost of energy efficient lighting upgrades. There is a further tax incentive under the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme that is also available and opportunities to negotiate electricity credits with suppliers under the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme that would bring down the cost of a smart lighting upgrade even further. This level of payment could help small and medium-sized enterprises save up to 90% on their lighting costs which is a significant saving for any small business. Lighting is the second highest cost for many businesses after staff costs. The maximum grant level is €200,000 but grant payments vary depending on the scale of the project. These smart lighting upgrades will typically pay for themselves in two to three years.
‘The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is administering the Scheme and applications are open until Thursday May 31st 2018.
‘The grant is open to small businesses across all sectors including retail, hospitality, tourism, private education, health facilities and manufacturing. Applications can be submitted by individual businesses or by co-ordinators who group applications and are in a position to apply and deliver lighting upgrades for a number of businesses.
‘Small and medium sized enterprises with less than 250 employees acros all sectors are eligible to apply. Annual turnover must not exceed €50 million.
‘For further information on the grant and details on how to apply visit www.seai.ie/grants