Energy efficiency projects in Ireland will save €7m a year says Gov
The government-backed Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has announced it will support 22 energy efficiency projects to deliver up to €7m (£5.9m) of annual energy savings and support more than 500 jobs.
Supported through the Action Plan for Jobs scheme, the SEAI claims the projects will see a collective investment of €55m in energy saving measures.
The SEAI has also confirmed that many of the projects will be eligible for loan finance under its National Energy Efficiency Fund announced in February.
Three of the projects detailed are public lighting upgrades by Fingal, Kerry and Mayo County Councils, which will involve a €30m investment to upgrade almost 50,000 public lights and support 200 jobs.
Other projects involve food sector companies such as Liffey Meats and Carton Bros where energy upgrades and subsequent savings will help to improve competitiveness.
Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte said: "A critical driver in the creation of jobs in a tight economy is a combination of state and private investment pitched appropriately, professionally and efficiently at key projects that have clear deliverable benefits.
"Government has set an ambitious target: to transform Ireland into one of the most energy efficient economies in Europe by 2020 - today's swathe of exemplar projects encourages me that we are on the right track."
SEAI chief executive Brian Motherway claimed there had been substantial interest from companies in the initiative, which he claimed reflected the growing awareness of energy efficiency as a business opportunity.
"These organisations are leading the way because they know the economic and job gains are there for the taking. Their work will create jobs and reduce energy bills, and when others see what is possible I am confident they too will act," he said.