Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is making $137 million available for lending to Irish small and medium businesses to lower their energy bills, and the bank will take into account the projected savings from energy efficiency projects when calculating the borrower’s repayment capacity.
Qualifying customers can take advantage of the discounted funding, supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB), for a range of energy-saving projects, including lighting and heating and cooling systems.
AIB sponsored an Amarach Research Report on the level of energy efficiency among 451 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Irish Green Building Council and found that achieving energy efficiency is high on the agenda of manufacturers, retailers and other business sectors. The research shows that energy accounts for about 9 percent of operating costs in most of the businesses surveyed, with SMEs in the manufacturing area spending, on average, $157,000 on energy bills per annum; retailers spending $69,000 and other businesses spending $96,000. More than 54 percent of respondents expect those energy costs to rise over the next three years, but there is little clarity on how they will respond. Over half the buildings SMEs operate in are 10-50 years old and generally are not energy efficient.