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Energy efficiency aids for SMEs

The transition to a new energy model is already underway. Part of this essential change depends on aid and plans to ensure that SMEs can make the leap without experiencing any negative impact.

The Paris Agreement on climate change set deadlines for a series of scenarios that must be met in order to complete a global transition to a new way of producing and consuming energy.

In Spain we have our own Energy Transition Law, with important implications for your business.

However, companies cannot be simply given a list of tasks and deadlines. Various types of aid are needed to drive this essential but costly change. To this end, on 26 April 2019, Royal Decree 316/2019 was approved for the granting of subsidies.

This measure serves to provide new resources to the National Energy Efficiency Fund and complements the existing National Energy Efficiency Plan 2017-2020. These subsidies will be co-ordinated by the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDAE) and managed by local authorities (autonomous communities and city councils).


Who are these subsidies for?

The subsidies are aimed at two very specific areas:

  • 1. Accelerating the energy transformation process for companies, particularly SMEs.
  • 2. The Sustainable Urban Development Plan.


Aid for SMEs

Small- and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from the funds provided in the general action plan to promote compliance with emission reductions through energy transformation and improved efficiency.

The initial aid budget was 63.7 million euro, which has already been exhausted. With an operational date of 1 January 2019, the second call for subsidies for SMEs, has been renewed, extending the budget by an additional 104.4 million euro. Of the total budget of 168.1 million euro, 40% will be for SMEs and the rest for large enterprises.

“These measures will allocate more than 67 million euro to SMEs to help them improve their energy efficiency.”

What projects does the SME plan cover?

These aids are applicable to projects aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, and improving energy efficiency through measures that reduce final consumption in one of the following two ways:

  • By improving industrial equipment and processes with an investment of between 75,000 euro (minimum) and 50 million euro (maximum).
  • By installing specific energy management systems with an investment of between 30,000 euro and 50 million euro.


Which companies can benefit from these subsidies?

  • All SMEs that have a development plan in one of the above paragraphs and operate under a CNAE (Clasificación Nacional de Actividades Económicas - national classification of economic activity) listed in the table in rule seven.
  • Large industrial enterprises that meet these criteria will also benefit from the remaining 60% of the budget.
  • Energy service companies.

The energy efficiency of SMEs is not just essential to achieving ecosystem protection targets- it is also necessary for SMEs' own competitiveness by improving production systems, updating technology and reducing overall costs. Now is the time to take advantage of these funds and benefit from this substantial aid.


The Sustainable Urban Development Plan

The Royal Decree establishes an additional allocation of 507 million euro to finance energy saving and sustainable mobility projects for municipalities.

The objective is to strengthen financial aid for the provision and improvement of infrastructure in municipalities that will lead to improved consumption and bring them closer to the proposed targets for 2020.

It aims to finance unique projects specifically targeted at improving public buildings and infrastructure (such as lighting).

However, it also covers the two important aspects of sustainable mobility projects and projects to implement technical infrastructure for renewable energy.

This 507 million euro is in addition to funds from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), which are already being distributed and are enabling territorial agencies to manage a total of 987 million euro.

This new plan has been established in order to encourage the following autonomous communities/cities that are lagging behind the targets: Andalusia, Murcia, Castile-La Mancha, the Canary Islands, Melilla, Galicia and the Valencian Community.

“The first requirement for SMEs is to present a development plan aimed at improving their industrial equipment and/or installing specific energy management systems.”
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