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By approving amendments to the Recovery Fund support program for increasing energy efficiency in business, including the transition to the use of renewable energy technology in heating, the Cabinet of Ministers decided in its session on February 20th this year to significantly increase and expand support for entrepreneurs. The development finance institution "Altum" plans to start accepting company projects for the fourth selection round of the program on February 27th this year.

Following the Cabinet of Ministers' decision, a number of improvements have been introduced to the program. From now on, support for increasing energy efficiency, wider use of renewable energy (RE) technologies, as well as the purchase of zero-emission vehicles will also be available to wholesale and retail merchants. It is reminded that support can be received by micro, small, medium, and large merchants whose sector of activity is not the primary production of agricultural products, fisheries, tobacco product manufacturing, gambling, or transport.

Also, with the amendments, support for merchants to purchase electric vehicles has been significantly expanded - support will now be available to merchants in all sectors, except for those in the primary production of agricultural products, fisheries, tobacco product manufacturing, gambling, and transport sectors. Until now, only exporting processing industry merchants could receive co-financing from the Recovery Fund for the purchase of electric vehicles.

"It is only logical that state support for energy efficiency measures and electric vehicle purchases will now be available to a much wider range of companies. I believe that we must move towards eliminating practices that selectively target general support to certain sectors. Latvia's main goal now is to achieve a breakthrough in investing EU funds, otherwise, we risk losing hundreds of millions of euros," emphasizes Minister of Economics Viktors Valainis.

To inform entrepreneurs and all interested parties about the opportunities to obtain support in this program, ALTUM invites entrepreneurs to participate in a face-to-face seminar on March 1st this year. The agenda for the event and registration for participation will be available on the ALTUM website. A live broadcast of the event will also be available for interested parties.

It is reminded, support for increasing energy efficiency and the introduction of RE technologies for companies is available as a loan from the financial institution "Altum" or a parallel loan with a capital discount for the repayment of the principal amount - the maximum loan amount is 5 million EUR with a loan term of up to 15 years. Support is granted as a capital discount, that is - "Altum" will reduce the loan principal by up to 30% of the project costs, but not more than 1.5 million EUR, after the energy efficiency increase or RE technology introduction project has been implemented and target indicators have been achieved.

Support is available for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, i.e., new M1 category (in addition to the driver's seat, there are no more than eight seats and no place for standing passengers) and N1 category (commercial vehicles with a full mass of up to 3.5 tons) vehicles that use energy from stored electrical energy as their only mechanical power source and whose greenhouse gas emissions are 0 g CO2/km (hereinafter – electric vehicles). Upon purchasing an electric vehicle, the entrepreneur will receive a guarantee for financial leasing services from "Altum" and, upon achieving the initially set project targets, a capital discount will be applied - the purchase of an M1 category electric vehicle cannot exceed 5,000 EUR and for an N1 category electric vehicle 10,000 EUR. The capital discount granted to an entrepreneur for the purchase of electric vehicles within the project will be up to 30% of the cost of the electric vehicles, but not more than 180,000 EUR.

During 2023, three selection rounds were organized within the program, with a total of 260 projects applied for support. Out of these projects, loan agreements have been concluded for the implementation of 95 projects, 48 projects have submitted loan applications, 11 loan applications have received a positive Altum decision, while another 36 projects are preparing loan applications. The Recovery Fund financing reserved within the framework of the program amounts to 32 million EUR.

As known, within the framework of this Recovery Fund support program, companies can receive support for:

  • implementing energy efficiency enhancement measures in companies - renovation of buildings, including renewal, reconstruction, or creation of engineering systems, and installation of energy-efficient lighting, as well as the purchase and installation of new more energy-efficient production equipment and ancillary process equipment providing production processes, if replacing existing production equipment and ancillary process equipment, recovery of secondary energy resources from technological production processes. Furthermore, when investing in energy efficiency in buildings, companies will also be able to invest in green roofs, digitalization of building equipment, charging infrastructure, equipment that produces electricity from RE, provides heating or cooling, for example, solar panels and heat pumps, as well as equipment for storing the energy produced;
  • introduction of renewable energy (RE) technologies in companies - purchase and installation of technologies producing electrical energy using solar or wind energy, as well as heat pumps and solid biomass thermal energy production equipment, and other RE technologies in companies. With the amendments, RE technology support activities have been expanded to include technologies producing renewable hydrogen, biofuels, biological liquid fuels, biomethane, and biomass fuels/energy, high-efficiency cogeneration technologies, as well as energy storage or conservation equipment – for self-consumption;
  • purchase of electric vehicles. Details on the amendments are available in the Cabinet of Ministers' regulations No. 594 of September 20, 2022, "Rules for the implementation of the European Union Recovery and Resilience Mechanism Plan's 1.2. reform and investment direction "Improving Energy Efficiency" investments "Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Business (including the transition to renewable energy technology use in heating and research and development activities (including in the bioeconomy))" measure "Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Business (including the transition to renewable energy technology use in heating)" on the Legal Acts Portal.

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