Special Fund for Energy Efficiency in SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face various barriers to initiating energy efficiency measures; given this, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) together with the KfW bank have launched an initiative aimed at overcoming these barriers. Most SMEs lack sufficient knowledge of their energy saving potential, as well as of ways and technology that can be used to reach this potential. Furthermore, the cost barrier is significant; energy costs can account for a small portion of overall costs and therefore not be considered important, or financial resources can be lacking. The BMWi and KfW have established the "Special Fund for Energy Efficiency in SMEs" to tackle both the informational and cost barriers faced by SMEs. The programme has two components; the advice component and the financing component. The advice component provides grants for SMEs to obtain advice and consultation regarding energy efficiency. The advice can be "initial", designed to complete the lack of information regarding the energy savings an enterprise can achieve by examining its energy use, weak points and potentials. A grant amount can be provided to finance up to a EUR 800 daily fee. Up to 80% of the daily fee can be covered (to a maximum of EUR 640 per day), with a maximum grant amount of EUR 1 280. Advice can also be "in-depth", referring to an in-depth energy analysis undertaken in order to prepare a comprehensive strategy for energy-saving measures. A grant amount can be provided to finance up to a EUR 800 daily fee. Up to 60% of the daily fee can be covered (to a maximum of EUR 480 per day), with a maximum grant amount of EUR 4 800 (for a basis for assessment, up to EUR 8 000). The Financing component provides SMEs with low-interest loans for investment in energy conservation measures.
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