Grant Scheme for Business Lightens Load

Invest Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) have launched a scheme to help local small and medium sized enterprises save money by installing energy saving equipment.

The Small Business Energy Saving Scheme will offer grants of up to 25 per cent to help businesses install specific energy saving equipment including high efficiency motors, variable speed drives, pipework insulation, and heat recovery equipment.

The scheme was launched this week at an open day at Loughry Campus in Cookstown, organised by Invest NI and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise at which a number of energy technologies were presented.

Victor Jordan of Invest NI says: “This scheme complements our other energy loan schemes by offering assistance to small companies that might not be eligible for other loans. It aims to encourage the uptake of proven energy efficient measures.”

The scheme offers a minimum of £1,000 and a maximum of £5,000 in grant support. Details and application forms can be obtained from Invest NI.

NIE’s Jenny Boyd added: “Electricity consumption is going up in the SME business sector and with margins tighter than ever, it is important to reduce overheads were possible.  

“Using less energy is one sure way to reduce overheads, so we would encourage businesses to take advantage of this scheme.  Another easy thing businesses can do to reduce their energy bills is pay their NIE bill by direct debit.  They’ll get 4 per cent discount off every quarterly bill.  Monthly-billed NIE business customers get 3 per cent discount.”