In recent years, uncertainty around energy supply, rising prices, and the pressing issue of climate change have meant that Irish businesses have grown increasingly concerned about their energy use. Opportunities to make changes which can save money and support growth are more important than ever before for businesses to survive and thrive.
SEAI BUSINESS SUPPORTS
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) works to support businesses in their efforts to better understand and manage their energy use. This is achieved through a program of supports including educational resources such as the online learning platform the Energy Academy, Energy Management Workshops, all the way up to grants and financial supports for energy saving and renewable technologies. A full list of supports is available on the business page of SEAI’s website: https://www.seai.ie/business-and-public-sector/small-and-medium-business/supports/financial-supports/
A SUPPORT SCHEME FOR ENERGY AUDITS
SEAI is further encouraging Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take control of their energy use with the launch of the new Support Scheme for Energy Audits (SSEA). The scheme provides eligible businesses with a €2,000 voucher to cover the cost of an energy audit. An energy audit identifies tailored energy saving opportunities that can save businesses up to 30 percent on their energy bills and help to reduce their climate impact. The audit also assesses whether renewable energy technologies are a viable option for their business. Audits are delivered by SEAI Registered Energy Auditors, who adhere to a specified audit template that has been developed for the scheme. You are guaranteed to receive a high-quality audit from a well-qualified and experienced auditor. Find out more about the scheme, and apply, here: https://www.seai.ie/sme/energyaudits
WHY ENERGY AUDITS?
An energy audit should be one of the very first steps you take if you want your business to be more energy efficient. SEAI recommends starting with an energy audit so you can prioritise actions that are going to be of most benefit to your business: those that save the most money and the most emissions.
Without an audit, you won’t have the information you need to make informed decisions about energy use and investment.
THE AUDIT REPORT
The SSEA audit report is easy to understand and outlines clearly what your business’s current and potential energy performance is. The report will list recommended measures that will improve your energy performance, from no-cost and low-cost options right through to major upgrades.
The scheme is open to SMEs that spend at least €10,000 per year on energy. The company must be registered and located in Ireland and be able to provide a valid Companies Registration Office (CRO) number and proof of tax compliance. Please note that to qualify as an SME, companies must employ fewer than 250 employees and have either a turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet of less than €43 million.
Application to the SSEA is quick and easy, and approval is given immediately to eligible companies. You can apply through the website and you will receive your voucher via email.