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Govt launch E70m energy saving fund

Thursday, May 08 14:43:00

The Government today launched the new E70 million National Energy Efficiency Fund with Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL), an energy efficiency investment manager.

The fund will act as a catalyst to develop energy efficiency projects in the Irish market and enhance the level of finance available to support the clear energy and cost saving opportunity that exists for public and commercial sector organisations.

It has secured first close of E35 million with a capital commitment of E17.2 million from the Irish Government, together with a combination of private sector capital from London and Regional Properties (E12.8m) and Glen Dimplex Group (E5m).

SDCL will act as investment adviser to the fund and was appointed following a competitive process conducted by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, SEAI and the NewEra unit of the NTMA. It is anticipated that as much as E300 million leveraged funding will be delivered over the next three years based on a fund size of E70 million.

In a deal worth E2 million, Tesco Ireland will become the first company to avail of the fund as part of a significant retrofit programme and the first Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland Exemplar project to reach financial close. Irish energy services company, DCS Electrical (DCS), will retrofit an initial seven Tesco stores with a follow-on funding commitment for up to 40 stores nationwide. The project to replace existing lighting across 7 Tesco stores with high-efficiency LEDs is expected to result in the creation of 16 new jobs at DCS and deliver estimated average annual energy savings of over E540,000.

Energy Minister, Pat Rabbitte said:"Energy efficiency represents a huge opportunity to stimulate economic activity, employment and improve national competitiveness. Today's announcement marks an important first step for the Fund, but more importantly says to businesses and public sector bodies - the Fund is open and ready to do business."