Together with the Zero Waste Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced a new “cashback” scheme to achieve cost and carbon savings for SMEs across Scotland.
With free support from Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), small businesses have saved an average of £8,000 on their energy bills each year, an average of 24%, by improving their energy efficiency, according to ZWS.
Backed by Scottish Government funding, eligible small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) can apply for an unsecured, interest-free loan of up to £100,000 and receive 15% cashback on the value, while funds last.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting businesses across Scotland to improve their energy and resource efficiency as we seek also to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s non-domestic premises.
“The SME loan 15% cashback incentive will give Scottish businesses the opportunity to reap the benefits of reduced energy costs through investment in energy efficient measures, helping to increase competitiveness and drive growth while also reducing their carbon footprint.
“I’m delighted to welcome an initiative that both supports business performance and aligns itself to our Programme for Government and Energy Strategy commitments to improve the sustainability of Scotland’s overall energy use.”
“Small Scottish businesses in every sector could really benefit from simple, easy-to-install energy efficient measures.”
Applicants will receive a free independent assessment before they submit their loan application with dedicated advisors on hand to guide them through every step of the process.
Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Business Resource Efficiency, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Small Scottish businesses in every sector could really benefit from simple, easy-to-install energy efficient measures. By making your energy equipment work for your business, the associated costs could significantly decrease. We also know that future-proofing businesses is key to minimising the stark implications of climate change.
“This loan from our Resource Efficient Scotland programme is a fantastic opportunity to discover how eligible businesses can make changes to combat climate change, by upgrading their equipment. Over the last five years, close to 4,000 businesses and organisations have received tailored 1-2-1 support to find the best solution which works for them and the resulting estimated financial savings is over £36 million.”
From manufacturing to retail, accommodation to the arts, the loan is open to all sectors.
Catherine Lowe, Centre Manager of North Merchiston Club, said: “Our old boilers were over 30 years old which caused major problems for the club when they kept breaking down in the typically harsh Scottish winter.
“We were losing money and club members as parts of the building became unusable, so we urgently needed to upgrade our equipment. Economising on gas and electricity is a priority for the club so we formed an energy group to tackle the problem and decided to apply for SME loans from Resource Efficient Scotland.
“The installation of the new boilers, which is the second phase of our energy saving programme, is estimated to save almost £1000 a year on gas bills which could make a huge difference for us. The cashback offer and loan also made it easier for us to install the boilers and added insulation sooner.
“This club has been serving the community since the 1920s and the loan has helped us keep our doors open for our 45 different groups to make the best use of our facilities, gym and café. I would encourage more small businesses to take advantage of what’s on offer because fixing problems and upgrading equipment is only going to benefit your business in the long term.”
The North Merchiston Club is part of the Green Network for Businesseswhich provides them with the opportunity to share their experiences and learnings with other organisations interested in making energy efficiency improvements.
To find out more about the SME Loan 15% Cashback incentive, and to apply, call Resource Efficient Scotland on 0808 808 2268, or visit www.resourceefficientscotland.com/SMELoan
Zero Waste Scotland leads on delivery of the £73million Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which aims to improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, supporting Scottish Government and EU policies.