A scheme to encourage businesses to upgrade, renovate, substitute or improve their heating, cooling and lighting systems or installations has been launched.
The €15 million investment aid scheme for high-efficiency energy systems is the result of a joint effort between four government entities.
It will be open until December 2022 and will have a budget of €5 million a year.
Should the exhaustive list of eligibility criteria be satisfied, businesses can recoup up to 50% of the costs incurred to achieve higher energy efficiency.
It is updating an already existing scheme which needed to be improved and made more accessible.
The government stated that to help the country sustain further growth, businesses need help paying for energy use, one of the biggest costs for every manufacturer.
“As a ministry, we have met with businesses to hear their most pressing issues. We were highly encouraged by the fact that none seemed to have lost hope, and many thanked us for the sustained measures we’ve taken to sustain economic growth and make the country stronger,” minister for investments Silvio Schembri said.
Besides promoting investment in spite of COVID-19, the initiative also aims to cut down on power waste and reduce the country’s emissions, Schembri said on Thursday.
Minister for Energy Management Michael Farrugia said that investments are not only important to keep industries going but also to improve profit margins and further reinvestment in the economy.
To secure their eligibility, businesses must have a physical base of operations on the island, CEO of Malta Enterprise Kurt Farrugia said.
Projects that qualify for assistance include the upgrading, renovation, substitution or general improvement of heating/cooling systems, installations to reduce consumption and lighting systems.
Farrugia said the investment must be of at least €10,000, and that “a competent person must certify that the resultant estimated energy saving to be achieved as a result of implementation will be at least 10%”.
Applicants must also provide "an energy audit", from an engineer who will measure out their baseline consumption and provide recommendations for improvement.
After the claim is adjudicated and assessed by an engineer, an accountant will have to declare that all costs have been paid.
Energy and Water Agency CEO Manuel Sapiano said the agency assessed difficulties and issues in the sector and then proposed measures to counteract them. This collaborative effort with the Ministry for Investments was one such example, he said.
Further information on the scheme can be found here.
Developers welcome new scheme
In a statement, the Malta Developers' Association welcomed the new scheme and said it expects additional measures and funding initiatives on a long-term basis.
The government, it said, should move away from the stop-start approach of feed-in-tariff schemes, and instead have permanent rolling schemes in place, in order to ensure stability, continuity and a smooth operation.