Conscious of the fact that rising energy costs are forcing companies to evaluate their energy use and outlay, Shannon Chamber is keen to assist its members assess how to adjust energy use within their business and thereby reduce costs.
Irish companies and organisations have significantly reduced their energy costs while improving their energy efficiency through availing of the supports available from the Sustainably Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The starting point for any SME is to learn about energy use, energy efficiency, and decarbonisation. This can be done through the SEAI Energy Academy. This is a free, online and on-demand e-learning platform with modules and courses on energy related topics. This is particularly relevant to those businesses that want to learn tips on how to reduce their energy use through behaviour change. SEAI recently launched a Leading Sustainable Change for Decarbonisation course on the platform.
SMEs can engage in SEAI’s free Introduction to Energy Management Training, which is a two-part online workshop taking participants through the six steps of energy management. It helps businesses to create an energy action plan and start monitoring and tracking their energy use. The next workshop is taking place on the 13th of September and it is still open for registration.
If your company is spending more than €10,000 a year on energy, you can apply for SEAI’s Support Scheme for Energy Audits. This offers a €2,000 voucher towards the cost of a high-quality energy audit, which is completed by a SEAI Registered Energy Auditor and will provide your company with an Energy Audit Report detailing your big energy users and opportunities to reduce energy use and/or switch to renewables.
If your company has the basics in place, learned about and started monitoring and tracking your energy use, implemented energy efficiency and sustainable energy use behaviours, and/or completed an energy audit you might then consider upgrades or renewables. SEAI has a selection of different paths for businesses depending on the technology or type of installation and its Business Grants and Support webpage outlines these.
All of the above paths for businesses are outlined in SEAI’s Steps to Energy Efficiency webpage for SMEs.
- Businesses that are large energy users or non-SMEs should engage with SEAI’s Large Industry Energy Network (LIEN).
- SEAI will also be launching a Commercial Solar PV Scheme shortly which will offer businesses financial support towards the installation of Solar PV systems.