News / 7 ways to get financial support for sustainability

7 ways to get financial support for sustainability

13th September 2018

Becoming more energy efficient can save your business money on bills and boost your reputation. However, our recent research revealed that 24% of utility decision makers think lack of Government support is the biggest barrier to them implementing sustainable change. We highlight 7 schemes that offer financial support to help fund your business transformation.

1. Grants or interest-free loans

There are many small grants available to help your business improve its energy efficiency. For small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in England, Scotland and Wales looking to invest in energy efficiency equipment, the Carbon Trust offers grants of up to £5,000 (and loans at 0% interest in Wales).

Many business grants are also available at town, city, council and regional levels – so it’s worth searching for sources of support in your local area.

2. Save money on the Climate Change Levy

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a tax that the Government introduced to encourage businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve their energy efficiency. For 2018/19, it will make up around 4.5% of a typical bill – although there are certain exemptions that could help your business save money.

Electricity and gas are normally excluded from the main rates of the levy if any of the following apply:

You can find out more about other CCL exemptions here.

3. Trade your carbon emissions allowances…

… through the EU Emissions Trading System

If you manage an energy-intensive business, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) enables you to buy and sell GHG emissions allowances – reducing the impact your business has on the environment. To qualify, you must meet EU targets by cutting your business GHG emissions and trading your allowances.

… or the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

If you work for a large business that isn’t eligible for the EU ETS, you may be covered by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. This is designed for large organisations (using more than 6,000 MWh per year) that are not energy intensive. These include supermarkets, hotels, water companies, banks, local authorities, state-funded schools and all central government departments.

Users buy allowances for every tonne of carbon they emit (through electricity and gas use). If they’ve reduced their emissions to beneath the limit covered by the allowances, they surrender the unused allowance and are rewarded for lowering emissions.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will only run until the end of the 2018-19 compliance year.

4. Save tax when you buy modern technology

You can claim capital allowances when your business buys energy-efficient, low-carbon or zero-carbon technology (including cars, machinery and energy saving equipment). This will help reduce how much tax you pay overall.

5. Save money with the plug-in vehicle grant

If your business buys a plug-in electric vehicle (EV), you could be eligible for a grant – up to £4,500 off the price of a car, and £8,000 off the price of a van. With low maintenance and running costs, zero exhaust emissions and the potential for use as battery storage, there are many benefits to EVs.

6. Save money when you improve your energy efficiency

According to management consultants Bain and Co, energy efficiency improvements mean that: “a typical manufacturing company in Europe or North America can save between 10% and 30% of direct energy costs in three years. Indirect savings, like reduced maintenance, materials and waste, as well as lower risks, typically add another 50% on top of the direct energy cost reductions.”

7. Get support to innovate

If you have a new product or service idea, you may qualify for one of a number of government-sponsored grants for innovation, along with other financial support such as accelerators.

As your renewable energy and sustainability partner, we can help transform the way you see and use energy – and support you in increasing your business revenues. To find out more or discuss any aspect of sustainability, please get in touch using our contact form.

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