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Minister Naughten: Local Small Businesses Can Save up to 90% on Lighting Costs

May 2, 2018


The Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Environment Denis Naughten is urging small businesses across the country to apply for funding under his Department's Smart Lighting Grant Scheme. 


Minister Naughten secured an increase this year to ensure more small businesses could avail of the Government's Smart Lighting fund following a successful pilot scheme in 2017. 


The total funding allocation secured in 2018 by Minister Naughten is €3 million, which is a significant increase on the 2017 budget of €550,000. 


"Applications are now open and the increase in funding means the Scheme can be rolled out more widely across the country benefitting even more small businesses this year," stated Minister Naughten. 


"The purpose of the support Scheme is to help SMEs reduce their energy use and costs. The grant will cover more than one third of the cost of energy efficient lighting upgrades.  There is a further tax incentive under the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme that is also available and opportunities to negotiate electricity credits with suppliers under the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme that would bring down the cost of a smart lighting upgrade even further.  This level of payment could help small and medium-sized enterprises save up to 90% on their lighting costs which is a significant saving for any small business. Lighting is the second highest cost for many businesses after staff costs. The maximum grant level is €200,000 but grant payments vary depending on the scale of the project.   These smart lighting upgrades will typically pay for themselves in two to three years," added Minister Naughten.


The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is administering the Scheme and applications are open until May 31st 2018.


The grant is open to small businesses across all sectors including retail, hospitality, tourism, private education, health facilities and manufacturing.  Applications can be submitted by individual businesses or by co-ordinators who group applications and are in a position to apply and deliver lighting upgrades for a number of businesses.


Minister Naughten added: 


"There are over 200,000 SMEs operating in Ireland and this scheme aims to support energy efficient lighting upgrades across all SME sectors.  Collectively small businesses account for a significant portion of national, and indeed, global energy demand. The smart lighting grant will significantly help businesses reduce their energy-use, producing real results for the environment, the economy and their own bottom line. Applications must entail a whole building or whole facility which would see lighting upgrades undertaken in all service areas within that building or facility. This could include for example in a retail outlet; the retail sales area, store rooms, toilet facilities and outside car park lighting."


60 SMEs have already seen the benefits to upgrading to energy efficient, smarter lighting systems.


Fran Egan, CEO of Hales Freight, carried out lighting upgrades in 2017 with the support of the Smart Lighting Grant. Speaking about the improvements, Mr. Egan said:


"We are a Dublin-based freight business that collects, ships and delivers goods, employing 60 people in Ireland and the UK. We replaced over 100 of our old inefficient lights with new highly efficient LED lights in our Dublin warehouse. Our warehouse is now much brighter, which is great for staff and is a safer work environment. Even better again, we are using less energy and have seen significantly reduced electricity bills. This has reduced our operating costs and we are more sustainable in our operations. We received a significant grant and found the process of submitting an application through a co-ordinator really smooth."






Notes to Editor:



The closing date for Smart Lighting Grant applications is Thursday, 31 May 2018.


Small and medium-sized enterprises with less than 250 employees across all sectors are eligible to apply. Annual turnover must not exceed €50 million.


For further information on the grant and details on how to apply visit



The following elements of an energy efficient lighting upgrade can be supported depending on which category of upgrade is being undertaken:


• New energy efficient light products* Products must be on the SEAI Triple E Register

• Decorative, feature or specialised non typical lighting products, not eligible to be on the SEAI Triple E product register2 due to their specialist nature but demonstrating energy efficient  performance characteristics with supporting evidence may be allowed on a case by case basis at the discretion of SEAI. Examples of these might include display lighting with specific colour rendering properties or chandelier lamps. Evidence of CE certification and declarations of conformity should be available for each Non-Triple E fitting type;

• Emergency lighting retrofit - works must be completed in accordance with statutory requirements and prevailing regulations as amended from time to time;

• Fittings and lamps with a power factor in excess of 0.9;

• Lighting controls including;

o PIR (Passive InfraRed sensors (heat);

o Microwave sensors (movement detection);

o Daylight sensing (photo sensitive);

o Automatic dimming and trimming controls;

• Smart meter (if applicable) and permanently installed


Additional Savings Available:


• The Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) scheme is a tax incentive scheme operated by Revenue for organisations (public & private) to purchase highly energy efficient equipment.  Only items that are listed on the Triple E Product Register are eligible for ACA.  (The Triple E Products Register is a list of best in class energy efficient products. It is regularly updated by statutory instrument to ensure that only the top 15% of energy efficient products across a range of fields and technologies are listed). The ACA scheme allows companies to deduct the full cost of the eligible equipment from taxable profits in the year of purchase rather than over the usual eight year period.  Further information on the ACA scheme can be accessed at



• Negotiating electricity credits with their supplier is one of the options available under the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEOS).  Under the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme, larger energy suppliers must support energy efficiency projects in businesses across Ireland. This support may be financial, technical or advisory to make your business more energy efficient. In terms of lighting projects, financial supports could mean a direct monetary contribution toward the lighting project, facilitating low interest loans for the project, negotiating discounts on lighting supplies or a reduced energy price to the business after a lighting project is carried out.


To avail of these supports contact your energy supplier's EEOS representative:



About SEAI


SEAI is Ireland's national energy authority investing in, and delivering, appropriate, effective and sustainable solutions to help Ireland's transition to a clean energy future. We work with Government, homeowners, businesses and communities to achieve this, through expertise, funding, educational programmes, policy advice, research and the development of new technologies.


SEAI is part-financed by Ireland's EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.​

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