The second meeting of the Irish Stakeholders Group for the SME POWER project was hosted virtually by Irish Partner WestBIC on Thursday 25th June 2020. The SME POWER project is working to ensure that public policy for the low carbon economy is better adapted to the needs of non-energy intensive SMEs. The purpose of this second meeting was to review the needs of the sector in conjunction with project stakeholders, to identify areas where it would be useful to benefit from the experiences of other partners and to learn more about good practices from other regions involved in the project.

The meeting kicked off with a discussion on the needs of the energy support sector in Ireland. Some of the issues identified included the difficulties of getting SMEs to participate in energy saving projects, the low level of support available for conducting energy audits, the administrative burden around applications and how that might be alleviated, and the need for flexibility around unavoidable changes occurring post project approval.   

The discussion moved on toward identifying some areas where they could benefit from learning from or applying experiences in other European regions in terms of identifying better support mechanisms for energy audits and/or systems as well as tools to minimise the administration and complexity of the tendering process.

The group also discussed a number of potential good practices from Ireland which could be shared with the SME POWER project partners – including the Better Energy Communities scheme and the model used by Clár ICH (community organisation) to actively engage with communities and SMEs.   

For further information:

Seamus McCormack, WestBIC at: [email protected]

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