Business Environment News

Funding To Help Irish Businesses Move Away From Fossil Fuels

The Green Transition Fund, funded by the European Union, has a pool of €55m in grant aid across two strands to accelerate the decarbonisation of Irish businesses and to help them to move away from fossil fuels.

The Climate Planning Fund for Business offers companies funding to come up with a personalised plan to identify how best to remove reliance on fossil fuels in their business. A €1,800 grant to develop a plan and up to €50,000 matched funding to go towards specific capacity building within an enterprise are among the grants available.

The Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund is targeted at manufacturing businesses, to encourage them to invest in carbon neutral heating processes, smart metering and energy monitoring, and R&D. Up to €1m is available for businesses to upgrade their processes. The programmes will run over the next five years.

Minister Pippa Hackett commented that employees, customers, funders and shareholders alike are demanding more from businesses when it comes to their environmental credentials, saying, “the Green Transition Fund is a great example of how government funding can be used to help enterprise to move away from pre-Covid, business as usual models, to models that deliver for the environment, as well as for their employees, their customers and the communities in which they operate.”

Eligible companies for the Climate Planning Fund for Business are clients of Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta. The CPFB comprises a range of offers:

  • Climate Action Voucher: consultancy support to develop an initial sustainability, decarbonisation, circular economy strategy and action plan. €1,800 grant.
  • GreenStart: consultancy grant to support companies to introduce environmental best practice systems and structures, achieve cost and resource reduction targets and lay a foundation for future environmental improvement projects. Grant rate of up to 80% of eligible costs up to a maximum grant of €5,000.
  • GreenPlus: support for training projects to develop a high level of environmental management capability, drive environmental efficiencies and achieve improved sustainability. Grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum grant of €50,000.
  • Strategic Consultancy: grant to assist large energy users develop a carbon reduction roadmap. Grant rates are up to 50% of eligible costs, with typical maximum support of €35.000.

Eligible companies for the Enterprise Emissions Reduction Investment Fund are manufacturing companies that are clients of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta. The available supports include:

  • Capital investment for Energy Monitoring & Tracking systems: grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of €50,000.
  • Capital investment for decarbonisation processes: maximum grant rate of 30-50%, dependent on company size, up to a maximum support of €1m.
  • Innovation Vouchers: to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation. The grant is €5,000 per company.
  • Exploring Innovation: grant to support planning of research, development or innovation projects in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation. Grant rate of up to 50% of eligible costs, with typical maximum support of €35,000.

In the small company space, Local Enterprise Offices operate the Green for Micro programme, which is open to all micro-enterprises with up to ten employees, except farms, and with annual turnover over €30,000.

Green for Micro offers two days of mentoring with a specialist green consultant. After that, small firms may be eligible for GreenStart, a grant for a training and consultancy project of up to seven days carried out by an external Green Service Provider.

Domestically focused retail, personal services, professional services and construction services are ineligible for the GreenStart grant.

In Budget 2023, €4m in additional funds was earmarked for the Local Enterprise Office network to include a new grant for microenterprises for energy efficiency. The Small Firms Investment in Energy Efficiency Scheme will provide a grant to companies to encourage capital investment in projects to reduce carbon emissions, though scheme details have not yet been announced.

Source: Business Plus

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