If you are working for an SME in the UK, I have some good news for you! The Carbon Trust is providing small and medium businesses up to £10,000 to install energy saving technology, including renewables, new energy-saving equipment and behind the meter batteries.
The funding mechanism is called The Green Business Fund, which will offer direct financial support through energy assessments, workshops, procurement support and up to £10k capital (or up to 30% of the purchase cost) per SME towards purchasing equipment to save energy.
Energy efficiency and savings for SMEs sounds nice on paper, but can be much more complicated in practice. Only 5 years ago nearly 40% of European SMEs (more than 7.5 million companies) had not implemented any energy saving or efficiency actions whatsoever.
With the European Commission’s Winter Package proposal for a 30% energy efficiency target by 2030, energy audits targeting SMEs could unlock incredible energy savings potential in Europe. Unfortunately, due to their small size, sectoral variation, and the low returns per customer, ESCOs have a particularly difficult time reaching the SME market in order to reach these targets. Yet, if SMEs implemented energy efficiency measures to their full potential, they could shave more than 20% off their energy bills. And that is something SMEs in Europe and beyond simply can't afford NOT to do.
Most importantly, SMEs have very specific needs when it comes to energy efficiency. ESCOs need to do a better job of recognising and addressing these pain points. To help with that, here is a list of the top energy efficiency challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises:
As an ESCO, you are probably missing out on an opportunity of serving more SME clients. After all, the EU alone is home to 22 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which provide around 89 million jobs and represent 99% of all enterprises. However, these businesses rarely have the capacity to exploit energy savings.
While absolute energy use per SME (industrial and non-industrial) is lower than in large, energy-intensive industrial companies, focusing on energy end-use efficiency in SMEs is often very cost effective. Still, too often these small businesses are falling between the cracks as weak business cases - even though there are plenty of good reasons for ESCOs to focus on serving SME clients better.
In a free online session this April 11th at 3pm CET, world-renowned energy efficiency expert Dr. Steven Fawkes is going to show us how!