Energy Efficiency Loan for UK SMEs

THE Royal Bank of Scotland is offering UK small businesses energy efficiency loans from a new fund along with advice to help firms cut their energy bills.

The scheme, launched yesterday, is accessible to any small to medium size UK enterprise that completes an energy audit. The loan will cover upfront costs of energy saving measures and upgrades, with loans that can be obtained from between £25,001 through to £500,000.

A survey carried out by the bank at the end of 2013 showed that although 85% of businesses agree that the rise of energy costs is a concern, less than a quarter carry out regular reviews of their energy (every 7-12 months).

The research also showed that 96% of respondents were on the standard energy tariff with only 11% generating their own energy through renewable technology.

Burrow said: “Businesses could be spending more than required on energy, which is why we are rolling out the programme to all businesses across the UK and helping them to make more informed decisions about their energy use.

The bank will set up energy audits for applicants through Mentor, the RBS Group’s business consultancy service.

The audits look at three main areas of energy including efficiency and use, how businesses are buying their energy – are they on the correct tariff – and whether there is an opportunity for them to produce their own energy through renewable technology. Audits aim to highlight immediate, medium and long-term opportunities for businesses, guidance on what to do next and estimated costs, savings and payback periods.

“Something as simple as checking your business is on the correct energy tariff could make a huge difference. We saved one of our manufacturing businesses over £11,000 by just switching them from the standard tariff.”

Ian Burrow, Head of Agriculture and Renewable Energy for Commercial Banking at NatWest and RBS, said: “We are committed to supporting a sustainable future for our customers, suppliers and communities.

“The audits look at the behaviours of businesses from helping them tackle the small things like encouraging staff to switch off lights and appliances, as well as implementing energy saving initiatives such as better insulation and equipment to regulate energy flow into buildings."

Source: RBS - Picture by Robert Pogson - Copyright free for editorial use.

Tuesday 28th January 2014


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