A welcome boost for entrepreneurs. The NRB helps them to save on energy bills

ELENA podnikatelé_
Advisory ELENA Energy savings

After prolonged pandemic-related business constraints or rising inflation, rising energy bills have become an urgent matter for entrepreneurs. Particularly SMEs have to make great efforts to keep their business due to increasing costs. The National Development Bank (NRB, CZ) is helping them to reduce energy costs through its ELENA and ENERGY SAVINGS programmes. The ELENA consultancy will cover 90% of the cost related to the preparation of energy-saving projects. Moreover, it helps to select the most appropriate investment financing from the range of interest-free loans offered by the NRB.

“We provide professional assistance for self-employed persons, SMEs as well as for large businesses. Through the ELENA programme, the National Development Bank offers advisory on energy consumption projects, preparation of energy assessments and assistance with the preparation of documents required for the NRB´s interest-free loan application,” says Čestmír Hrdinka, ELENA programme coordinator. In addition, the ELENA programme will reimburse 90 % of the costs incurred for project preparation. The NRB has allocated CZK 8 million in this sector, thus enabling to provide consulting of up to 120 energy-saving projects for entrepreneurs.

“The National Pavilion reconstruction project was implemented with the support of the NRB. In the current tough times, savings on energy costs and loan interest payments could be redirected to cover other important operating expenses, which are constantly growing,” says Martin Karban, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the České Budějovice Exhibition Centre.

Čestmír Hrdinka adds on interest-free loans that the NRB offers to entrepreneurs: “We can also help with investment finance, where it is possible to obtain interest-free financing from our existing ENERG or Energy Saving programmes, which help finance business projects focused on energy savings across the country.” The projects focus on improving the energy efficiency of buildings, specifically heating, hot water, air conditioning, cooling or lighting. The money also goes towards reducing the energy consumption of the building – insulation of the building envelope, replacement and renovation of windows and/or doors including any construction adjustments leading to energy savings.

Among the energy-saving projects realized with the help of the NDB loans is the reconstruction of the premises of the Czech company KAMA, which produces knitted sports goods. “For several years, we were considering the renovation of the whole production site. This should lead to the enlargement of production areas together with realized energy savings. Nevertheless, we postponed the realization because of other priorities. When you are a small company, you think twice about what you invest in. But the moment we learned about the NRB’s ENERG programme, which provides interest-free loans for companies in Prague, the choice of financing was clear,” says Klára Pertlová, daughter of the KAMA founders.

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