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Blog Post 11 July 2022 Updated 18 June 2024

Looking for energy efficiency support for your business?

With energy costs rising, there’s been a lot of talk about domestic bills, but less about how businesses are being impacted. Yet, almost one in three businesses indicate that trade is adversely impacted as they put their own prices up to address the rise in energy costs.

Support beyond policy

Government energy efficiency policy can help businesses understand how to save energy and reduce operational costs and energy audits and sustainability strategies can go a long way to helping organisations reduce their bills and carbon emissions. However, LEAP4SME, an initiative looking to understand and improve energy efficiency policy, has identified that additional resource, funding and expertise is needed for SMEs to implement such strategies.

So, what can be done?


Identify what energy policies your organisation has in place and whether it’s following government guidance. If not, it’s worth carrying out an energy audit to see where improvements or significant energy and carbon savings can be made and then engaging your employees to effectively implement them.

There are various national and local organisations that can help you with energy audits if you’re unsure where to start.

Plan and Act

Energy efficiency plans can provide a roadmap and guidance for everyday decision making for employees, as well as more long-term energy and carbon reduction strategies. Where capacity, expertise and funding are required to plan and implement energy efficiency programmes, there is support out there, whether that’s a grant, loan, expertise or resource.

Use available national and local support

We’ve summarised the wide range of business-specific decarbonisation and energy efficiency support available below.


The UK Government offers a simple guide that sets out low-cost measures and steps that SMEs can take to start saving energy and money on their bills.

Funding and loans

  • The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will help decarbonise buildings by providing grants to help small businesses install heat pumps (and, in limited circumstances, biomass boilers). 
  • The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund offers grants that support the development and deployment of technologies that can help businesses lower carbon emissions.


Business Energy Scotland offers free support and advice for businesses, including a free energy assessment to identify where and how you can make savings.

Funding and loans

  • Business Energy Scotland’s SME Loan Scheme, offers interest-free loans up to £100,000 that can be used to install renewable heat technologies and energy efficiency measures such as draught-proofing, secondary glazing and insulation.
  • The Circular Economy Investment Fund is a funding opportunity for organisations to further develop their existing circular economy model to deliver carbon savings, leverage investment and create jobs.
  • The Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund offers grants that support the development and deployment of technologies that can help businesses lower carbon emissions.


Business Wales is a government-funded organisation offering specialist sustainability support for businesses in regional centres.

Funding and loans

  • The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides upfront capital grants to support the installation of low carbon heating systems.
  • The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund offers grants that support the development and deployment of technologies that enable businesses with high energy use to transition to a low carbon future.


Northern Ireland

Invest Northern Ireland offers advice to businesses on how to operate more efficiently, including consultancy for energy and waste management strategies and recommendations; resource matching service to manage waste and reduce costs; and investment funding for energy saving equipment. 

Funding and loans

  • The Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme is an £8 million fund, which both households and businesses can access to make property upgrades, such as boilers, draught-proofing and smart heating controls.
  • The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund offers grants that support the development and deployment of technologies that enable businesses with high energy use to transition to a low carbon future.


  • The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) partners energy efficient technologies with companies willing to implement them. Successful applicants typically receive between 40-60% of required funding for their project, with IEEA contributing between £150,000 and £1 million per project. 

How can energy policy better support SMEs in the pathway to Net Zero?

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) commissioned Energy Saving Trust to better understand the actions needed from small medium enterprises (SMEs) to evaluate climate policies in place that impact on SMEs and suggest new or strengthened policies. The research involved SME interviews focussing on four low-engagement, high-emission sectors (horticulture; manufacturing of wearing apparel; electrical, plumbing, and other construction installation activities; restaurants).

You can read our report: How can energy policy better support SMEs in the pathway to Net Zero?

Local examples

Local authorities are gradually implementing their own policies to support local businesses. Contact your local authority to find out if they have any energy efficiency schemes or policies for businesses.

Here are some examples from across England. If your local area is not included below, it’s worth checking with your local council to see if they have any grants or support for energy efficiency.

  • Energy for Business – Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire offers consultancy, events, workshops, capital grants of up to £8,000 (40% of the project cost up to a maximum of £20,000 project value). Funding is available for specialist academic consultancy, technical support for energy projects, events and workshops, student placements and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships as well as access to facilities to SMEs in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
  • Business Energy Efficiency Anglia offers a grant up to £20,000 for SMEs based in Norfolk and Suffolk, which can be used for carbon saving measures, energy saving advice and support to gain a Carbon Charter accreditation.
  • Low Carbon Workspaces offers grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to implement energy efficiency measures to businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.
  • Business Energy Efficiency Programme – West Midlands offers free energy efficiency assessments and grants of between £2,000 and £20,000 to SMEs in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire.
  • Low Carbon Dorset offers free technical support, an energy audit and grant funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to SMEs in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme offers access to the Green Business Network, as well as a free energy audit, and grants of between £1,000 and £50,000, to SMEs in Coventry, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Leamington Spa, Stratford on Avon and Warwick.
  • Green BELLE – Leicestershire offers up to £10,000 towards the cost of installing low carbon and energy efficient measures, in addition to advice on energy efficiency and energy bills to SMEs in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Worried about energy bills?

You should contact your supplier if you’re worried about paying your business energy bills. Suppliers may be able to create a payment plan for your business. You can also ask for a breakdown of payments, more time to pay, or even access to hardship funds.

Making your business more energy efficient is important if the UK is going to reach net zero carbon emissions. It’s also a great way to reduce operating costs for your organisation.

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Last updated: 18 June 2024