Those abusing the system or attempting to do so (false information, cumulating support schemes etc.) can be exempt from the scheme for up to 10 years
On 30th June 2004, a law providing wide-ranging support measures for SMEs was introduced.
Article 4 of the law outlines investment grants provided to SMEs in the fields of environmental protection and the rational use of energy. So as not to duplicate the provisions of the law of 22 February 2004 targeting the industrial sector (see separate entry), the law explicitly excludes industrial sector enterprises.
The law provides for both material and non-material investments, such as licences as patents, as well as non-patented knowledge and training.
Grants are provided in the following four areas:
Adaptation to new standards: Grants are provided to assist SMEs in adapting to new European Community standards and regulations, for a period of three years starting from the new regulation’s entry into force. Up to 15% of eligible investment costs associated with implementing the new standard/regulation can be supported during this period.
Surpassing existing standards: This grant scheme is provided to enterprises of all sizes that undertake investments to surpass existing required standards, or who undertake eligible investments in the absence of any standards or regulations. The grant scheme covers up to 30% of eligible investment costs. This can be increased by up to 10% if the company is an SME.
Energy investments: This grant scheme is provided to enterprises of all sizes that make investments leading to energy-savings, renewable energy, or the production of combined heat and power (CHP). Up to 40% of eligible investment costs can be covered. This can be increased by up to 10% if the company is an SME. The grant can also be increased by 10% should the investment allow for the independent energy supply of a community.
Consulting fees: For SMEs requiring consultation services in the field of environmental protection or rational use of energy, the scheme covers up to 50% of the fees paid.