Scotland’s SMEs to capitalise on energy efficiency

Posted on 1 Feb 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Small businesses in Scotland could save up to £8,000 on average each year by making energy efficiency improvements, the Scottish Government has announced.

Scottish SMEs could save up to £8,000 per year by making energy efficiency improvements – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government have announced a new ‘cashback’ scheme to help businesses in Scotland tackle rising energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

For a limited time only, eligible SMEs applying for an interest-free, unsecured Scottish Government loan can receive 30% cashback on the value; that is up to £10,000 in cashback on completion of their energy efficiency improvements.

Minister for Business, Paul Wheelhouse, announced the cashback incentive today during a visit to Goldenacre Mini Market in Edinburgh. The convenience store is among more than 300 businesses in Scotland to have benefitted from an SME Loan in the past five years.

The SME Loan scheme has seen nearly £10m invested in the Scottish small business community since 2013.

The smartest way to increase profit

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, said: “Improving energy efficiency is one of the smartest ways that businesses in Scotland can hold onto their hard-earned profits and make a real difference to the bottom line.

“In addition to benefits for individual businesses, reducing the environmental impact of Scotland’s energy needs will bring us closer to the low carbon energy future set out in Scotland’s Energy Strategy – generating benefits for Scotland’s economy as well as the environment.

“This fund is part of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP), which will support buildings across Scotland – both domestic and non-domestic – to improve their energy efficiency rating over a 15-20 year period.

“We will be publishing a SEEP Routemap, later in 2018, to set out our long-term ambition for the Programme and make our commitment to this agenda clear, given the more than £500m we have earmarked to the programme over this term of Parliament.”

The SME Loan 30% Cashback incentive is open to applications from SMEs with energy efficiency projects that demonstrate cost and carbon savings. These include, but are not limited to:

  • investing in LED lighting,
  • installing more efficient heating systems,
  • improving the insulation of a building or investing in more energy efficient equipment, such as a state of the art oven or a more efficient refrigeration unit.

Eligible applicants will receive a dedicated expert advisor from Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland service, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to guide them through the process at no cost, helping them identify efficiency improvements with the greatest benefit to the bottom line.

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