Q2 2022 Sees Surge In Smart Building Grants

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Governments in the U.K. and Ireland are taking climate change seriously. The recent announcements about new smart building grants are testament to the fact that they’re willing to invest heavily in a greener future.

Let’s go over some of the new grants available, and how you can take advantage of them.

Irish Business Goes Greener

In a surprise announcement, the Irish government announced a €55 million ‘Green Transition Fund’ that aims to improve commercial buildings and processes over the next five years. Grants start at the planning phase, and continue all the way through to implementation and maintenance.

The specific goals of the fund are to remove the reliance on fossil fuels from Irish businesses, and to invest in carbon neutral heating processes, smart metering, and energy monitoring. In short: Businesses and factories can get grants for introducing smart building elements, and investing in geothermal and solar solutions.

In a statement about the program, which is earmarked as part of the EU-funded National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), Minister Pippa Hackett had this to say:

“Employees, customers, funders and shareholders alike are demanding more from businesses when it comes to their environmental credentials. As businesses continue their recovery from the pandemic, this €55 million Green Transition Fund is a great example of how government funding can be used to help enterprise to move away from pre-COVID, business as usual models, to models that deliver for the environment, as well as for their employees, their customers and the communities in which they operate.”

Anyone wishing to research or apply for this grant can visit the Green Transition Fund site.

Small Business In England And Wales Get Pumped

Retrofitting isn’t just for factories and enterprises! The U.K. government announced a heat pump and biomass boiler grant that applies to every small business in England and Wales. This can be undertaken as part of a larger smart building transformation, or as a stand alone project.

The £450 million, three year long ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme’ slashes the cost of installing a new heat pump or biomass boiler by £5,000. In late March, a clarification extended this offer to not just residential properties, but to all small businesses. This grant is in addition to the five year long 0% VAT rate on installation of heat pump and biomass boiler installation announced earlier in 2022.

In a statement about the intent of the program, Minister Lord Callanan said:

“We want to make it easier and more cost-effective for homeowners to move away from using expensive fossil fuels for heating. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme means they can make the switch to more efficient, greener alternatives today in an affordable and practical way.”

To check your small business’ eligibility and study the OFGEM guidance on installation, visit the program’s website.

Rural U.K. Businesses Get Gigabit Connections

In one of the biggest pushes for rural Internet connectivity ever announced, Project Gigabit is offering grants to rural SMEs across the U.K.

The grant can be taken advantage of as part of a smart building retrofit or in isolation. The rural business can get a £3,500 voucher help to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband! This is part of a £5 billion fund that includes rural homes as well (which can qualify for up to £1,500 per unit).

Businesses are encouraged to contact other local residents and commercial properties in the area, as the vouchers are pooled to create an area-wide connectivity hub. Once a critical mass has been reached, the fiber broadband provider lays out the local fiber ring and gets everyone in the area hooked up.

Lord Parkinson had this to say about the programme:

This Government is supporting access to the internet of the future – building broadband that is fast, reliable and future-proof, that supports 5G, and that paves the way for new and unexpected developments in commerce, trade and technology.”

To see if your rural business qualifies for a voucher, visit the Gigabit Voucher site and type in your postcode.

Combining Multiple Grants For A Smart Building Retrofit

In most cases there’s no reason that the various grants offered on national and local levels cannot be combined into a single project: A smart building retrofit.

The planning for building upgrades and renovations gets cheaper when spread over several projects at once, simply because downtimes and access windows can be coordinated, assuring that business disruption is kept to a minimum. The same is true of businesses with multiple campuses across the U.K. and Ireland.

By coordinating all of your grant upgrades through a professional smart building integration firm, you’re likely to save time, money, and hassle over doing it yourself. And they’re likely going to be able to offer you additional upgrades that will save you a lot of money in the long term, and save the planet a lot of greenhouse emissions as well.

With that in mind, give Electracom a call if you want to talk about how to best leverage the grants towards a comprehensive smart building upgrade that will save you money for years or decades to come.

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