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Cansme Offers Discounted Energy Audit for Irish SMEs

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SMEs can apply for a discounted energy audit with a voucher of up to €1000 through the CAN SME programme. We will be hosting a webinar on Monday August 22nd to answer your questions. Registration below.

The Climate Active Neighbourhoods project (CAN) focuses on underprivileged neighbourhoods that require renovation in municipalities and regions of varying sizes throughout northwest Europe.

To build relevant capacity in these participating local authorities, neighbourhood approaches and synergies based on new governance models will be introduced. CAN SME will build on the efforts of CAN to begin working with SMEs.

One such SME that has benefitted from CAN SME is Grantstown Nurseries. They provide tomatoes to the southeast region of Ireland. Through CAN SME, Grantstown Nurseries  have gained a better understanding of their energy usage and have begun the process of installing a biomass heater. You can watch their interview across:

CAN SME is the new name for CAN Cap.

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What was Climate Active Neighbourhoods?

The initial CAN (Climate Active Neighbourhoods)-project supported Local public Authorities to implement their low carbon plans more effectively in urban residential areas using a neighbourhood approach. New organisational governance modes for sharing public responsibility with bottom-up action and financial instruments stimulated the process. 1,339 households benefitted from CAN investments reducing CO2 emissions by 2669t annually. In these pilot investments, the mix of measures (e.g., heating system upgrade, loft insulation) and their combination with the ways of cooperation were tested and improved.

How Does CAN SME Build on This?

CAN SME looks to extend the efforts of CAN by working the Small and Micro businesses across northwest Europe. The newest iteration of this project will transfer the successful CAN approach to foster energy retrofitting of SMEs (buildings and, if applicable, processes). SMEs are an important sector addressed in all municipal low carbon plans but are particularly hard to reach. CAN SME aims to especially support SMEs and young entrepreneurs who are in a challenging or problematic situation (also due to the Covid-19 crisis), where energy retrofitting and GHG emission reduction is not on the top of the agenda. This project aims to continue the reduction in territorial disparities and/or in less developed zones of the urban area/zones that are lagging.
CAN SME will also develop the CAN approach further by integrating digital consultation procedures in the consultation process to reach more target persons/SMEs with less effort allowing them to achieve more value for money.

How is CAN SME helping Irish SMEs in the region?

  • Enable SMEs to implement energy retrofitting activities at their premises and reduce their GHG emissions
  • Enable Local authorities to support the SMEs on their territory more effectively (e.g., with the CAN multiplicator approach)
  • Target new stakeholders (e.g., multiplicators such as chambers of commerce) and enable them to disseminate and implement the approach in the long term
  • Maximise the impact of the initial CAN-project through widening the cooperation between municipal energy or climate protection services with economic development departments and multiplicators in the economic sector.
  • Support Local authorities to implement their low carbon plans in residential and economic areas effectively.

Results of CAN SME activities must contribute to the output indicators:

  • The main indicator is GHG emission reduction with the calculation of this reduction being based on the actual energy retrofitting improvements. Potential activities and expenditure must also be in line with the programme’s, national and local rules.
  • Results should be higher for less budget than in the initial CAN project

How Can I get Involved?

The best way to keep up-to-date with CAN SME news is to sign up for our Newsletter and keep an eye on our social media and website.

Only SMEs in specific industries will be able to apply for the discounted energy audit from South East Energy Agency through CAN SME.

These are:

  • Nursing Homes
  • Food producers/manufactures, Farm Foods
  • Convenience Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
  • Voluntary Group Building Management (i.e., a voluntary group that is responsible for the management and upkeep of a building like Community Halls or Sports Clubs)

To receive your energy audit you must also have not received De Minimus state aid between 2019 and 2021 and you must meet the EU Definition for an SME (except in the case of voluntary organisations).

Audits will be discounted with a voucher worth up to €1000. This will cover most the audit expense with the business paying the difference. This amount will be highlighted before the audit takes place. We expect the cost to your business remaining relatively low with this voucher.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about what an energy audit is and can do for your business feel free to contact us at

Watch Our CAN SME Second Call Webinar

On August 22nd we hosted a webinar for SMEs interested in applying for our discounted energy audits through the CAN SME project.

You can watch the recording of the webinar here:

And, if you would like to download the slides you can do so by clicking below.

CAN SME Second Call Webinar Slides

What Happens When I Apply for my Discounted Energy Audit?

Someone from our team will contact you to discuss your business and energy saving needs, then determine if CAN SME is the best support for you and if you’re eligible, or if you’re better suited for the SEAI SME Voucher.

If CAN SME is the best fit for you then we will discuss your discounted energy audit. The audit process is an inspection to identify maintenance, operational, deficient equipment issues on your premises.

Finally, we will calculate the cost of the audit and discount it by €1000 through the CAN SME voucher. You will be told the net cost and can decide if you would like to go ahead with the audit.

Apply for a Discounted Energy Audit through CAN SME

Fill Out Our Expression of Interest Form

Examples of projects – Nursing Homes

In 2017 and 2018 we linked up with SOS Kilkenny which provides service for adults with intellectual disabilities to save over €3,300 off its heating and lighting bills through a series of energy upgrades.

We also worked with The Irish Wheelchair Association to make its 1980s headquarters more energy efficient. It consumed lots of electricity, oil and gas. South East Energy Agency oversaw works which included improving attic and wall insulation. The improvement works cost €5,000, €2,500 of which was grant aided. The Irish Wheelchair Association is now saving €4360 per annum on its energy bills.

At Mount Carmel Nursing Home, a high efficiency condensing oil boiler was added and LED lighting installed. Solar panels were also added. In all, €23,000 worth of grant aid was provided for the €46,000 works. Mount Carmel is now saving close to €5,000 in energy bills each year.

At Kerlogue Nursing Home, a high efficiency gas boiler was added and the whole heating system upgraded. Kerlogue Nursing home is currently saving €500 annually on their heating bills. 30% of the total cost of the project was grant aided.

Examples of projects – Food Producers & Manufactures

In 2019, South East Energy Agency worked with many food producers such as Kehoe’s Farm based in Lacken New Ross, Co. Wexford. Kehoe’s Farms grow, process, and package potatoes as well as packaging and selling animal feed (through Kehoe’s Ketripack). South East Energy Agency installed solar PV panels for Kehoe’s potato packing to assist the power burden from the necessary cold storage. South East Energy Agency also installed solar PV panels to assist with the power needed in the packaging of the animal feed. A simple lighting upgrade was also complete on the animal feed facility to reduce energy costs. In total, these improvements saved €4,813.95 in Kehoe’s Farm and €11,340.15 in Kehoe’s Ketripack (animal feed).

It’s not just farms however, again in 2019 South East Energy Agency began energy improvement works with Stafford’s Bakeries in Gorey in Co. Wexford. Stafford’s Bakery has been in operation in Gorey, since the 1950’s and now provide their breads and cakes nationwide from their state-of-the-art Bakery at the IDA Industrial Estate in Clonattin, Gorey, Co Wexford. Stafford’s were spending upwards of €58,171 a month on electricity alone as they needed to have the bakery running through the night to ensure supply of fresh bread each morning. To help reduce their energy costs, South East Energy Agency installed solar PV panels and completed an insulation upgrade on their premise. This is expected to save Stafford’s Bakery €130,894.94 a year with a simple payback time of under 4 years for the project.

Examples of projects – Convenience Stores and Supermarkets

South East Energy Agency has in the past worked with stores and small supermarkets to help them reduce their carbon footprint and energy expenses. In 2019, Quinn’s Food Store approached South East Energy hoping to do exactly this. The agency investigated the premise and found that the refrigeration units were using a lot of power. Post audit, the team at South East Energy Agency recommended the installation of a reduced size fridge, from 5m to 2.5m, with multideck and doors. This lead to an estimated savings of €1,552.78 for Quinn’s Food Store

Kilmartin Service Station is a 24hr Service Station on the Dublin Road in Athlone. This service station boasts a convenience store with a hot food deli counter as well as all other services including fuel, air, and water. Given these services available, and the 24hr opening times, Kilmartin Service Station had huge energy demands with the shop paying about €63,331 for energy in 2017. To reduce this usage and having audited the premise, South East Energy Agency staff recommended an upgrade the refrigeration units to ones with higher energy efficiency. This simple change lead to an estimated savings of €9,077.35 a year.

Examples of projects – Community Halls

South East Energy Agency has worked with community halls in the past, helping them improve their energy use and make some well-needed improvements. One such example is Marshaltown Community Centre a community centre located in Marshalstown, Wexford. South East Energy completed an insulation upgrade as well as a door and window upgrade to prevent heat loss in the community centre and make it easier to heat in winter months. Another community centre the agency has worked with is Cloneen Community Hall. The hall had a very high electricity and gas demand for heating so, South East Energy Agency increased their wall and attic insulation and replaced all single-glazed windows with double-glazed windows.

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