Energy efficiency has been described as the 'first fuel' and a key contributor to meeting our climate goals.
SEAI developed the Dairy Sector pilot scheme in partnership with Teagasc and rolled it out during 2017 as part of a new suite of pilot measures for the SME sector. Payments amounting to €187,500 of grant support were made in 2017 to 47 successful grantees by the SEAI from funding provided by my Department. The scheme targeted the high electricity use associated with milking parlours by funding upgrades to high efficiency pumps and variable speed drives (VSDs). These measures can reduce electricity consumption for milking by 60% which can result in savings of over 10% on total farm energy costs. SEAI are reviewing possible new technologies with Teagasc with a view to launching the new scheme in April with c.€400,000 of funding from my Department.
There is a range of other supports for energy efficiency and emissions reductions available through the SEAI which may be of interest to the agricultural sector. These include energy management training for SMEs; free information and best practice guides on energy management; and the EXEED (Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Design) scheme. The SEAI also produces the “Triple E” Register of products approved as being energy efficient. Coupled with the Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) scheme, this allows businesses to identify and buy the most energy efficient equipment and write down the cost of such equipment in the year of purchase rather than over 8 years. More detail of these supports can be found on the SEAI website at www.seai.ie.