Investing in Energy Efficiency Should Be Easier for Small Businesses
High energy costs are making it harder for small businesses in the UK to grow, and according to an article in The Guardian, the UK government needs to do more to encourage small businesses to implement energy efficiency measures.
But, in order for small businesses to implement long-term energy efficiency measures, the risk and cost need to be low, the payback needs to be quick, and the process must be simple. Although smart meters have primarily been rolled out to residential consumers, they can provide benefits to small businesses as well.
By providing businesses with real-time information about their energy use and giving them the information they need to determine where best to invest in energy-efficiency measures, smart meters can help reduce the risk involved in investing in energy-efficiency measures.
The UK government currently has no plans to focus a smart meter roll-out campaign on small business—a missed opportunity, The Guardian article states. The same principle holds true for renewables. To encourage small businesses to invest in renewable energy, the government needs to provide enhanced capital allowances and incentives to promote more renewable energy installations among small businesses.
Small businesses typically pay higher energy prices than larger companies—some as much as 70 percent more. Encouraging small businesses to be more energy efficient is a key strategy for lowering a country’s energy consumption.
The topic seems to be getting more attention, not only in the UK, but also in the United States. In February, the US Department of Energy held a webinar to discuss, among other things, why financial institutions often don’t serve small businesses very well when it comes to financing for energy efficiency upgrades.
Photo via Shutterstock.
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