Many Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are experiencing difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why it is incredibly important for a business to understand their energy, water and waste costs. Saving opportunities can then be identified to cut energy bills and reduce emissions.
Here are details on funding available for green technology and some tips on reducing an SME’s carbon footprint.
The main source of funding for Scottish small businesses is the SME Loan Fund from Zero Waste Scotland.
Eligible SMEs can apply for an SME loan for £1,000 up to £100,000 from the Scottish Government to pay for energy-efficient upgrades. This loan helps businesses enjoy the benefits of reduced energy costs through investment in green technology such as LED lighting, insulation and the replacement of old, inefficient heating components.
The SME Loan Fund has generous funding available for SMEs to implement new renewable heat (heat pump, biomass, solar thermal) or energy efficiency on their premises. Funding of £4m is available for 2020/21 from Zero Waste Scotland on a first-come basis. This is awarded as follows:
- 30% of eligible costs up to a maximum of £10,000 can be claimed by qualifying applicants for any energy efficiency measures,
- 75% of eligible costs up to a maximum of £10,000 can be claimed by qualifying applicants for any air/ground/water source heat pump, biomass boiler or solar thermal renewable technologies.
If you work remotely and want to make your home heating system more energy-efficient or convert to renewable energy, there is the Home Energy Scotland Loan. This has recently been improved to offer 40% cashback for eligible energy efficiency measures and 75% for eligible renewable heating systems (solar water, biomass, heat pumps and district heating).
If you are a landlord, making your rented properties more energy efficient can add value and make them more attractive to potential tenants. The Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan, HEEPS Equity Loan and the Renewable Heat Incentive are three funding schemes designed to help landlords make necessary energy efficiency improvements to their properties.
Installers and heating industry professionals should be aware of the above funding schemes to gain more customers and seize the business opportunities that come with the net zero transition.
For employees working at home who might be at risk of fuel poverty, information on how they can get help in paying their heating bill can be found in our blogs on
We also develop heating system efficiency software that can reduce fuel bills - find out more.
These tips can apply to businesses who are operating out of an office and those who have employees now working from home:
- One of the simplest ways to save energy at work is to look for the places heat can escape. Check windows and doors for leaks where heat is escaping the room resulting in wasted energy. Block gaps with weather stripping, caulking or draught excluders.
- Use programmable thermostats to only have the heating come on when people are around. Lowering it by 1ºC will save on your heating costs without making rooms feel noticeably colder.
- Keep heaters and radiators clear of obstructions.
- Make sure heating systems have an annual service. A professional cleaning of the radiators in a house can save an average of £62 per year whilst increasing the life cycle of a boiler by on average 3.5 yrs.
- Replace old light bulbs with newer, low-energy options e.g. LEDs. Use light sensors that switch off the lights when a room is unoccupied. This is useful for staff or storage rooms.
More tips can be found on our blog “10 easy ways to reduce your business’s energy bills”.
Details on the Scottish government's plans for the improvement of the energy efficiency of homes and businesses can be found at Energy Efficient Scotland.
Zero Waste Scotland has excellent news updates on using energy efficiently to reduce waste.
To learn more about Scotland’s decarbonisation efforts, sign up to a Scottish business webinar from Scottish Enterprise.
Coming up soon is a webinar on “Building Scotland’s Heat Network Capacity” on 9/12/20 14:30 - 15:30. Sign up here for free. It will discuss the infrastructure of Scotland’s heat networks and novel low carbon energy generation.