The Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development has announced a number of new initiatives, including a €5,000 grant for companies to carry out an energy audit.
These audits, the Ministry believes, will be beneficial for the companies, allowing them to make efficient use of energy and consume less. Through the audits, businesses will also be guided on how to benefit from schemes offered by different entities.
In a second scheme, also announced on Tuesday, €15 million is being allocated to help small and medium enterprises with projects that ensure energy efficiency (Investment Aid for Energy Efficiency Projects).
This scheme will directly finance investments in machinery and modern operations and can cover between 40 per cent and 50 per cent in eligible value.
Energy auditors will also prepare a sustainability report, aiming to provide companies with an idea of three main sustainability pillars: environment, social, and governance.
The report, according to the Ministry, will give a clear picture of what type of investment is best to carry out at a company, in order to avoid investment by crisis, and allowing the company to plan ahead.
SMEs are also being urged to participate in a third scheme, to invest in renewable energy projects between 40KW and 1MW. This scheme will see an investment of €50 million spread over 20 years.
Local banks are also working towards the Government’s vision to sustain sustainable investment, through the launch of the so-called green loans. Two local banks have unlocked €54 million in loans for this aim.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the schemes, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli commented: “Today’s initiative is a result of continuous work and collaboration between the Government, entities and stakeholders”.
“We will continue to enhance the collaboration between different entities and partners, such as industry representatives and banks, to keep on ensuring the implementation of investments in favour of sustainable economy”, she added.
The initiatives were welcomed by Malta’s business community, with Chamber President Marisa Xuereb and SME Chamber President Paul Abela praising the fact that a number of initiatives have been brought together to facilitate important investment in sustainability.
Also addressing the press conference, Bank of Valletta Chairman Gordon Cordina argued that the way forward for economic recovery is through more sustainable means by which businesses provide their products and services.
He also said that this will be essential for long-term competitiveness.
DOI/ Jason Borg
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