Anticipation is building around the Government’s National Energy and Climate Plan which will be published in the coming weeks.

The plan is expected to include a range of actions across all sectors – including heat, transport, industry, electricity and agriculture – and will endeavour to establish Ireland’s response to climate change and how the country can reduce emissions to ensure “that goals are met”.

In a statement to AgriLand, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment pointed out that the Government was already “significantly” supporting homeowners and business owners in the decarbonisation effort.

It also highlighted the Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grants and how they are helping homeowners, business owners, communities and large industry to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse emissions.

There is a range of supports for the purchase of electric vehicles that include a purchase grant of up to €5,000 for new vehicles and Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief of up to €5,000 for battery electric vehicles, and up to €2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The spokesperson continued: “In addition, further grants of up to €7,000 are available to support the purchase of electric vehicles in the taxi/hackney/limousine sector.”

‘State-of-the-art infrastructure’

Meanwhile, the spokesperson highlighted other supports available that include Accelerated Capital Allowances (ACA) for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure alongside a grant of up to €600 to support the installation of a home charger for purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles.

Benefit-in-Kind relief for battery electric vehicles – up to a maximum value of €50,000 – is also on the cards. Also is the introduction of low motor tax of €120 for battery electric vehicles with a discount on tolls of 50% for battery electric vehicles and 25% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – up to a maximum amount of €500 per year – and greater reductions off-peak on the M50.

“Under the first call for applications from the Climate Action Fund, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton approved funding of up to €10 million to support ESB eCars to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network,” the spokesperson continued.

This project will develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art, electric vehicle fast charging network capable of facilitating large-scale electric vehicle uptake over the next decade.

“In addition, the department, in conjunction with the SEAI, is working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging.”