Tánaiste Simon Coveney is calling on Cork businesses to apply for the €3 million Lighting Upgrade Grant Scheme.

The funding has increased this year and The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is administering the Scheme.

Applications are open until May 31st 2018 on www.seai.ie

The grant is open to small businesses across all sectors including retail, hospitality, tourism, private education, health facilities and manufacturing.  

Applications can be submitted by individual businesses or by co-ordinators who group applications and are in a position to apply and deliver lighting upgrades for a number of businesses.

Applications must entail a whole building or whole facility which would see lighting upgrades undertaken in all service areas within that building or facility. This could include for example in a retail outlet; the retail sales area, store rooms, toilet facilities and outside car park lighting.

The purpose of the support Scheme is to help SMEs reduce their energy use and costs. The grant will cover more than one third of the cost of energy efficient lighting upgrades. 

There is a further tax incentive under the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme that is also available and opportunities to negotiate electricity credits with suppliers under the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme that would bring down the cost of a smart lighting upgrade even further.  

This level of payment could help small and medium-sized enterprises save up to 90% on their lighting costs which is a significant saving for any small business. Lighting is the second highest cost for many businesses after staff costs. 

The maximum grant level is €200,000 but grant payments vary depending on the scale of the project.   These smart lighting upgrades will typically pay for themselves in two to three years.