Here’s how to cut your business’s energy costs and go greener.
You can avail of programmes, resources and advice from three State agencies which are all tailored to meet the needs of Ireland’s small and medium-sized businesses. Most of these services are free.
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
SEAI runs a Support Centre for SMEs which provides a number of free services to help small businesses cut their energy usage by up to 20%. You need to register on the website to avail of free advice, mentoring and an assessment of how your business can cut its energy bills.
SEAI also provides:
- Grants: The SEAI also offers grants which are available for specific times and in specific sectors, such as ocean energy.
- Workshops: The SEAI runs three half-day workshops over 10-12 weeks for small businesses that spend less than €100,000 on energy annually, to help them cut costs even further.
- Tools: SEAI offers a number of tools to track energy costs, raise energy awareness, save energy costs and assess your business’s technology, among others.
- Advice on ‘quick wins’: The authority offers tips based on business sector and technology in the ‘quick wins’ section of its website.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Green Business is a website operated by the EPA. It offers a number of services to businesses, including:
- Efficiency assessment: The website provides a free, onsite resource efficiency assessment. Following its completion, your business will be presented with a report that identifies savings opportunities. There is a follow-up call after six months, as well as help in producing a case study detailing how your energy consumption has changed.
- Training: The website tracks workshops and other events held around the country which help businesses learn how to go green.
The EPA also runs the SMILE Resource Exchange, through which businesses can exchange resources to help each other cut costs, for free. This exchange is facilitated by networking events, an online exchange and a support team.
Enterprise Ireland provides resources for businesses looking to cut energy costs. It has produced a guidebook on first steps to green competitiveness. It also runs:
- GreenStart: This programme is aimed at smaller businesses that are unfamiliar with environmental systems and structures, and offers an assignment whereby an environmental consultant will offer guidance and training over seven days. Enterprise Ireland will cover a maximum of €5,000 of the cost of consultancy, with businesses typically providing an extra €1,300.
- EnviroCentre: This online resource offers a number of other databases, including information about environmental consultants, waste recyclers and cleantech companies in Ireland. It also offers other resources such as a best practice guide, case studies, legislation requirements, and information on environmental research.
- Free carbon footprint calculator: This calculator on the EnviroCentre site produces a carbon footprint report for your business based on its fuel and electricity consumption.