Thursday, 3 October 2019

Questions (285)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

285. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding funding streams which are available to gym owners and fitness entrepreneurs to assist with the significant costs associated with purchasing self-power generating treadmills and exercise bikes thus ensuring the business has a higher degree of energy self-sufficiency and incentivises companies to be more green conscious, energy efficient and environmentally aware; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40261/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department supports businesses through a range of supports and grants administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). As the scope for reductions in energy or related carbon emissions from the technologies the Deputy mentions is limited, and as the focus for grant supports needs to be on technologies with the potential to deliver the most effective impact (i.e. significant users of heat or electricity), no specific supports are envisaged for this type of equipment. However, the Excellence in Energy Efficient Design (EXEED) grant scheme can be applied to any investment project where energy is a factor. EXEED has supported a number of projects in the Leisure Sector. Power generating treadmills and exercise bikes could form part of an overall investment in an energy efficiency project in a leisure centre.

Beyond the specific grant supports available, the SEAI also provides information and advisory services to businesses. These range from an SME guide to energy efficiency and case study examples of best practice to advice on energy efficiency design. New online audio-visual modules for businesses focusing on energy efficiency opportunities are also being developed and will be available in the coming months.

By availing of these supports and improving their energy efficiency, businesses can cut costs as well as carbon, free up resources that can be invested in more productive activity, improve their competitiveness, resilience, and green credentials. I would encourage all businesses to engage with SEAI to benefit from these supports.