Tesco is the first company to make use of the fund, which was launched by energy minister Pat Rabbitte in May. The fund will be accessed by DCS Electrical, the company undertaking the retrofit, and paid back by Tesco when the energy savings materialise.
DCS Electrical will retrofit an initial seven Tesco stores, with a follow-on funding commitment for up to 40 stores nationwide. The project to replace existing lighting in seven Tesco stores with LEDs is expected to result in the creation of 16 new jobs at DCS, and deliver energy savings of over €440,000 (£359,000).
Adrian Lewis, finance director at Tesco Ireland, said: ‘This innovative fund will help us achieve our goal of becoming a Zero-carbon business by 2050 and of being half-way there by 2020.’
Minister Rabbitte said: 'Energy efficiency represents a huge opportunity to stimulate economic activity, employment and improve national competitiveness.'
Jonathan Maxwell of SDCL, an investment advisory firm working with the Energy Efficiency Fund, said: ‘The Fund is taking an innovative approach by basing its investment return on the energy cost savings expected to be achieved by projects. Improving energy efficiency not only delivers cost savings but frees up capital for other operational activities, allows for future-proofing against possible energy price increases, increases resilience and can improve asset values. This is important for Ireland’s future competitiveness.’