In 2014 Energia launched “Cash for Kilowatts” – a new funding scheme to support energy efficiency projects for businesses. This programme allows Energia to contribute up to 30% towards the overall costs of an energy upgrade; with the resulting energy savings covering the balance of the cost. Businesses can use the funding to kick start projects they might otherwise not have been able to afford.
Carroll’s Irish Gifts began the process of upgrading the lighting in two of their 13 stores in September. Lighting is a key element in the display and presentation of goods in any retail outlet. It also forms a considerable chunk of any store’s annual electricity bill.
The first step was for Energia to conduct an energy audit of some of Carroll’s outlets. We identified significant savings that could be made by modernising the lighting systems. The project consisted of changing a variety of metal halide lighting from low bay fittings, recessed downlights, spotlights and fluorescents to more energy efficient Lightstar 205 fittings provided by Fergal Power & Wave Guide Lighting.
In total, 61 existing fittings were replaced with 22 energy efficient fittings as part of the complete lighting design overhaul.
Carroll’s has seen considerable results from the project. The company has reduced its annual electricity use for lighting by 76% as a result of the changes. This means that they’ve shrunk their carbon footprint by 18 tonnes of CO2 each year, generating cost savings of almost €5,800.
Energia’s “Cash for Kilowatts” scheme is open to any company spending more than €5,000 on an energy efficiency project and allows grant funding of up to 30% of the project value. The initiative is open to all businesses, whether or not they are customers of Energia.
As well as benefitting from the grants, businesses will also make very significant ongoing savings through the energy efficiency projects. For example:
- Lighting: LED and high efficiency lighting can reduce your lighting costs by up to 75%
- Heating: a new boiler or heating controls can save over 25% of your annual fuel costs
- Refrigeration: new systems can reduce your costs by up to 30%
Lorcan O’Connor of Carroll’s Irish Gifts believes that this type of project is worthwhile for any Irish retailer. Here’s what he has to say.
At Energia we’re delighted to be able to offer our ‘Cash for Kilowatts’ initiative to promote energy efficiency upgrades among Irish businesses. Since commencing the scheme in 2014, we have had over 1000 businesses contact us with nearly 500 businesses undertaking a project. This has resulted in annual savings for these businesses in the region of €8m per annum.
Through the scheme we’re delighted to be supporting the national upgrade programme ‘Better Energy’ and the National Climate Change Strategy. Businesses can find out more on www.energia.ie/funding or by emailing email@example.com.”
Amy O’Shaughnessy, Energia