As the Irish economy continues to grow, so too does the energy requirements of SMEs and the agricultural sector throughout the country. Ireland is transitioning to a low carbon economy in an effort to meet both Government and international targets and to reduce the economy’s dependence
According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) the scale of these challenges is significant, and it will require a coordinated interplay of technology, infrastructure and actions by organisations and individuals to shape Ireland’s energy future. For the past number of years, SEAI has been supporting Irish businesses, large and small, as well as the Irish agricultural industry, to shift to more sustainable energy use by providing a range of support services. This includes mentoring, training, standards development and a number of financial supports to help companies to become more energy efficient, deliver measurable savings and reduce their energy bills. There are six main grants available from SEAI that would be of great interest to SME’s and the agricultural sector.
Three of these grants are now closed for 2019 so it is the perfect time to do your research ahead of the 2020 round of applications. These three include:
1. RENEWABLE HEATING
Sustainable biomass fuel is organic material used to generate low cost renewable energy that can supply heat for your business. Biomass fuel is transferred to a boiler where it is burnt to produce heat, most commonly for heating and hot water. Biomass heating tends to be most suitable for:
The Scheme aims to bridge the gap between the installation and operating costs of renewable heating systems and the conventional fossil fuel alternatives; and incentivise the development and supply of renewable heat. SEAI have been appointed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, as the administrator for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that:
The installation grant provides funding of up to 30% of eligible costs, to successful applicants.
2. EXEED CERTIFICATION
The Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design (EXEED) grant scheme is designed for organisations who are planning an energy investment project. EXEED enables organisations establish a systematic approach to design, construction, and commissioning processes for new investments and upgrades to existing assets. The EXEED Certified program aims to influence and deliver new best practices in energy efficient design management. EXEED designs, verifies, and manages optimum energy performance and management at the earliest stages of the lifecycle. The EXEED Grant Scheme provides grant support of up to €500,000 per year. They are now accepting grant applications for 2019. EXEED is applicable to any sector, any organisation and any project. Projects can be of any scale or complexity, for example:
3. TAX INCENTIVES AND FINANCING
Want to reduce your tax bill and your energy costs? Accelerated Capital Allowance is a tax incentive encouraging investment in energy saving technology. The Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) is a tax incentive scheme that promotes investment in energy efficient products & equipment. The ACA is based on the longstanding ‘Wear and Tear Allowance’ for investment in capital plant and machinery, whereby capital depreciation can be compensated through a reduction in an organisation’s tax liability. The ACA scheme allows a company that pays corporation tax in Ireland to deduct the full cost of the equipment from their profits in the year of purchase. As a result, the reduction in tax paid by the organisation in that year is currently 12.5% of the value of capital expenditure. By contrast, the Wear and Tear Allowance provides the same tax reduction, but this is spread evenly over an eight year period.
For cars coming under the category “Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles” the accelerated allowance is based on the lower of the actual cost of the vehicle or €24,000.