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 to become more energy efficient, whether you are beginning your journey to sustainability or at an advanced stage:
Starting your energy efficiency journey
Climate Toolkit 4 Business
Climate Toolkit 4 Business allows SMEs to input some simple information to get an estimate of their carbon footprint. It will use this information to generate a personalised action plan and recommend those supports that are relevant to help each business reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs.
SEAI Energy Academy
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.
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.
Water conservation for business hub
Help protect Ireland's water supply and cut down on business costs. Learn how your business can make a difference by conserving water with the water conservation for business - Irish Water.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a number of resources available for business such as greening resources for business, carbon footprint calculators and EPA tool for resource efficiency.
Steps to energy efficiency
Steps to energy efficiency - SEAI sets out five steps which your business can take to begin its energy efficiency journey.
Skills to Advance
The green skills programmes - SOLAS aims to boost awareness of the key environmental sustainability issues that affect employers and employees and to equip them with the skills to make a positive contribution to sustainability in the workplace.
Businesses with 10 or fewer employees
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.
Businesses with 10 or more employees
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.
Planning, preparation and training
Climate Ready Programme (Skillnet)
Climate Ready: Talent for Ireland's Green Economy - Skillnet Ireland offers leadership and skills support for enterprises who want to develop their operational and strategic sustainability.
Innovation Vouchers - Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund
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.
EI clients, potential EI clients and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients
Climate Action Voucher - Climate Planning Fund for Business
The Climate Action Voucher is an €1,800 grant to engage consultants to develop an initial sustainability or circular economy action plan.
GreenPlus - Climate Planning Fund for Business
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.
Exploring Innovation Grant – Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund
The Exploring Innovation Grant 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.
Strategic Consultancy Grant - Climate Planning Fund for Business
Strategic Consultancy Grant is a grant to assist large energy users develop a carbon reduction roadmap. This provides grant rates of up to 50-80% of eligible costs, with typical maximum support of €35,000.
GreenStart - Climate Planning Fund for Business
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. If you are not a client of Enterprise Ireland and employ between one and nine employees, or between 10 and 50 employees in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors, you should contact your Local Enterprise Office.
Improving your business with funding
Non-Domestic Microgen Scheme
The Non-Domestic Microgen Scheme - SEAI provides up to €2,400 towards the installation of solar PV for your business, farm, school, community centres, or other non-profit organisation. This technology reduces commercial electricity costs and increases security of supply, while enhancing a positive sustainability image. Grants are available for systems up to 6kWp (approx. 16 Panels or 25m²) with a potential of savings between €2,000 - €3000 annual electrical costs (depending on installation size and current utility rates).
Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme
The Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme - SBCI supports eligible SMEs to invest in the energy efficiency of their enterprises. Loan amounts from €10,000 to a maximum of €150,000 per borrower, over terms of 1 year up to 10 years.
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.
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.
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 and Local Authorities to lead deep energy efficient upgrades on the buildings. The SEAI advises that this scheme is particularly suitable for smaller businesses, who can avail of the support and expertise of the project coordinators.
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.
Electric Vehicle Grants (SEAI) – co-funding
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.
Energy Contracting Support Scheme
The Energy Contracting Support Scheme - SEAI provides financial assistance to implement energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects. The Scheme aims to support the direct external consultancy and/or specialist advisory costs related to project appraisal and procurement of pay-for-performance energy contracts. Find out more about Energy Contracting.
Businesses with less than 10 employees
eSPSV Business Loan
The eSPSV Business Loan - Microfinance Ireland is available to support small business owners with a Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) that are unable to secure finance from Banks and Asset Finance providers and are availing of the government’s eSPSV Grant Scheme to replace their vehicle with a more sustainable model (electric/hybrid).
EI and Údaras na Gaeltachta clients only
Agile Innovation Fund - Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment 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 - Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment 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. It offers 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.
EI, IDA Ireland and Údaras na Gaeltachta clients only
Capital investment for decarbonisation processes – Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund
Capital investment for decarbonisation processes supports investment in carbon reducing technologies in manufacturing combustion processes. This provides a maximum grant rate of 30-50%, dependent on company size, up to a maximum support of €1 million.
Energy Monitoring and Tracking Systems - Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund
Energy Monitoring and Tracking Systems (EM & T) incentivises companies to put in place monitoring and targeting systems to begin accounting for the carbon footprint of their activities.
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.