AIB has launched a €100m fund aimed at improving energy efficiencies among SMEs in Ireland, which has the potential to stimulate the economy and create thousands of jobs, it said, reports the Irish Examiner.
The bank also said it will make available €1bn in funding for energy projects over the next three years.
The €100m fund coincides with a major research project carried out by Amarach found SMEs on average spend 9% of total revenues each year on energy bills. This ranges from €114,000 for companies in the manufacturing sector; €50,000 in the retail sector; and €70,000 for remaining SMEs.
As part of the fund, AIB will take into account future estimated savings arising from energy conservation if that company is applying for a loan in relation to capital expenditure on energy conservation projects.
The report found that a reduction in energy bills had the potential to improve a company’s competitiveness because it lowered the overall cost base and improved margins.