New fund to improve energy efficiency of homes gets €20m

Fund will help energy firms offer financing and deferred payment plans to households

A new fund designed to improve the energy efficiency of infrastructure such as commercial buildings and homes has received an investment of €20 million from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).

The investment from ISIF, which is part of the National Treasury Management Agency, makes it a cornerstone investor in the Solas Sustainable Energy Fund ICAV (SSEF). The fund is advised by Solas Capital AG, a specialist international investor in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The SSEF will focus on providing funding to energy service companies in connection with energy efficiency projects.

This is to allow these companies to offer financing solutions and deferred payment plans to individual households and businesses that undertake energy enhancement projects using technologies including better heating and cooling, rooftop solar, insulation and LED lighting.

ISIF head of climate Paul Saunders said the investment would help address the gap between Ireland’s energy efficiency funding needs and the requirements of institutional investors.

“Our society and our economy need major public and private investment in climate action and ISIF can play a key role by acting as a catalyst for significant additional private sector investment in Ireland,” he said.

“Our investment in the Solas fund will help address the gap between Ireland’s energy efficiency funding needs and the requirements of institutional investors.

“We are pleased to play a leadership role in promoting additional capital and innovative financing solutions that will increase the take-up of energy efficient technology in Irish homes and businesses.”

Scaling investments

Paul Kearney, co-founder and director of Solas Capital, said: “This commitment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund demonstrates confidence in SSEF’s approach to the energy efficiency market and its ability to scale investments in this area.

“Energy efficiency in buildings is a crucial sector which will enable Ireland to reach its climate goals, and SSEF is committed to supporting Irish project partners to scale their business models through tailored funding solutions.

“SSEF will fund projects across both public and private sectors and each energy efficiency project supported will reduce Irish CO2 emissions and energy costs, while creating local high-quality jobs.”