Economic opportunity to grow Northern Ireland’s green economy.
The Covid-19 Energy Efficiency Capital Grant (EECG) has been offered to 94 local businesses across Northern Ireland, helping them become more resilient through green efficiency.
The scheme was developed by Invest Northern Ireland to provide businesses with support for the installation of energy efficient equipment, such as LED lighting systems, heating and cooling equipment, process insulation, and replacement drives and motors.
“Many businesses have used the Energy Efficiency Capital Grant to improve their energy efficiency, increase productivity and achieve significant environmental benefits, including carbon reduction”
The scheme received over £1.5m of funding, including an allocation from the Department for Economy’s Economic Recovery Action Plan.
Improve energy efficiency, reduce costs
Speaking during a visit to Craigavon-based Simplyfruit, one of the 94 businesses that received an offer of support through EECG, Northern Ireland Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said:
“Sustainable business practices offer a substantial economic opportunity as we grow Northern Ireland’s green economy. My Department’s 10X Economic Vision focuses on growing this sector in response to climate change and help build a better environment for the people of Northern Ireland. As part of this, many businesses have used the Energy Efficiency Capital Grant to improve their energy efficiency, increase productivity and achieve significant environmental benefits, including carbon reduction.”
Simplyfruit is a producer and distributor of fresh fruit snack products. The business uses significant amounts of energy to refrigerate and store product and in generating compressed air for packing the products.
Invest NI offered Simplyfruit an EECG grant towards the cost of new machinery to improve energy efficiencies.
“Invest NI’s Energy Efficiency Capital grant has helped us to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs,” Connor McCann, Operations director, Simplyfruit explained.
“We have been able to purchase a new system to help us better monitor and control our energy outputs, and install equipment to recover and reuse waste heat from our refrigeration plant. This has led us in the past year to save over £16,000 and over 200,000kWh in energy savings, along with our carbon emission savings.”
Dr Vicky Kell, Director of Innovation, Research and Development at Invest NI, added: “We recognise the increasing significance of the green economy as a key driver of our economy and we are pleased to support Northern Ireland businesses progress towards Net Zero. We developed this scheme to help businesses achieve greater energy efficiency so that they can be more resilient, and deliver long-term cost and carbon savings in their day-to-day operations. It’s now great to start seeing the results of how the scheme is positively impacting businesses across Northern Ireland.”
The Minister concluded: “It is great to be in Craigavon today to see first-hand how the Energy Efficiency Capital Grant has positively impacted businesses including Simplyfruit. This financial support has enabled the company to reduce its carbon emissions by over 50 tonnes, as well as making significant energy savings. I am pleased that my Department could provide funding to enable businesses to capitalise on green energy opportunities such as this.”
Main image: Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation Research & Development; Connor McCann, Operational Director, Simplyfruit; Economy Minister Gordon Lyons; Patrick McCann Jr, Commercial Director Simplyfruit