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How to find financial support for energy efficiency upgrades

Businesses and organisations often struggle to pay for energy efficiency upgrades to cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. We’ve put some information together to help get you started with finding financial support.

Please note: If you decide to apply to a funder for a grant or loan always check with the specific website regularly for any changes to criteria, deadlines or for any additional advice or information that has been posted.

Embarking on an energy efficiency project can be costly, and many businesses and organisations struggle to find the capital to fund their plans no matter how much impact they could have on reducing carbon emissions.

The availability of financial support to pay for energy efficiency upgrades depends on where you are based, what type of business or organisation you have, and changes frequently.

However, we can provide a snapshot of what is available for businesses and organisations in Oxfordshire as of February 2022.

This may spark inspiration to get you started with your energy efficiency plans and research where you could find finance to make your project a reality.

Stay up-to-date

Grants open and close frequently, and you will need to do your own research on eligibility before making any investment in upgrades. 

Before applying for any loan finance, you should speak with an independent financial adviser to see whether a green loan is suitable for your business.

Many grants and loans are location specific and it’s often best to contact your Local Authority in the first instance to see what’s available. Resources like Grants Online, can also help you search for funding available in your area.

Another step you could take is to contact your energy supplier as many offer small loans and grants for businesses to improve energy efficiency.

Be sure to sign-up to the Sparks Newsletter for energy efficiency news and blogs straight to your inbox every month.

If you have commercial premises in Oxfordshire, speak to our team. We are always happy to have a no-obligation chat with you about the support we offer – and we can help you identify funding to get your project started – hello@energysolutionsoxfordshire.org.

What’s available

For the industrial sector

Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF)

The Phase 2: Spring 2022 competition is open to businesses of any size registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Funding can support the deployment of energy efficiency technologies to reduce industrial energy consumption and for the deployment of industrial energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation projects.

Your businesses must be operating in an industrial sector listed in the eligibility criteria

Industrial Fuel Switching competition

The £55 million Industrial Fuel Switching competition will support innovation in the development of pre-commercial fuel switch and fuel switch enabling technology for the industrial sector, to help industry switch from high to lower carbon fuels.

For Large and medium businesses

Clean Growth Financing Initiative – Lloyds Bank

Funding from Lloyds Bank can support a broad range of investments in sustainable business – from small improvements in environmental impact, right through to large-scale renewable energy infrastructure.

Loans are available for organisations with either a £3-15 million turnover, or a turnover of over £25 million, to assist with:

  • Reduction in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions for core business processes, properties and infrastructure.
  • Energy efficiency, renewables, environmental sustainability improvements or production of related products.
  • Investment in low carbon vehicles and transport.

For Small and Medium Enterprises

Ofgem

Ofgem offers an updated guide for small business energy grants, schemes and advice to lower your carbon emissions and get more efficient with your commercial energy use.

Barclays Green Loan

Your business must meet the European Commission’s definition of an SME, which means having fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €25m.

You could borrow money to fund all green changes to your business and green projects, including: 

  • Harnessing and storing solar and wind energy 
  • Improving EPC ratings
  • Upgrading to eco-friendly machinery 

NatWest Green Loan

NatWest has recently announced a new Green Loans proposition to offer borrowing with no arrangement fee to qualifying SMEs investing in eligible clean buildings, energy, transport and agriculture.

Green loans and green asset finance are due to be open for applications from 18 February 2022.

HSBC’s Green SME Fund

Available to UK SMEs with a group annual turnover of up to £25m.

For charities and non-profits

Oxford Community Impact Fund (small and medium grants – Oxford City only)

There is £5,000 (per Medium Grant) and £1,000 (per Small Grant) for non-profit-making organisations, including schools and colleges, to pursue a Zero Carbon future for Oxford.

They are looking for projects that help deliver the following key interconnected priorities, in line with the City Council’s Strategy

  • Support thriving communities
  • Enable an inclusive economy 
  • Pursue a zero carbon Oxford
  • Deliver more, affordable housing

Postcode Society Trust

There is £25,000 available for charities and community interest companies (CICs) responding to the climate emergency, and £2,500 for voluntary sector organisations. 

Including support for projects responding to the climate emergency & promoting sustainability.

Aviva Climate Fund by Aviva Community Fund

They are awarding up to £50,000 for charities or social enterprises to speed up the transition to net zero.

Blenheim House Bursary Scheme

Local charities and community projects are being invited to apply for funding of up to £5,000 as part of Blenheim’s £50,000 bursary.  Applications must be in by 18 March 2022.

The scheme is focusing on green and sustainable projects who are doing something positive and practical to address climate change.

They are funding projects local to the area around the Blenheim Estate.

Investment support

In Oxfordshire, there’s an opportunity to receive support from our expert team to help you find investment for energy efficiency projects, as well as manage your installation when you’re ready to implement measures.

When applying for grants and loans funders normally like to see detailed proposals covering how you intend to spend the money you apply for and what impact it will have.

Our reports can strengthen your application by providing expert assessments of your building’s energy use and performance.

You will also receive an estimation of the amount of carbon you can save through the upgrades you plan to make.

Being able to quantify the positive environmental impact of your project could make you more likely to gain grants or specialist green loans at favourable interest rates.

If you’re interested in the opportunities for making energy improvements in your organisation, drop us an email at hello@energysolutionsoxfordshire.org – our team are always happy to have a no-obligation chat with you about the support we offer.

Thanks for reading!

Energy Solutions Oxfordshire makes it simple for every organisation to stop wasting energy, cutting running costs whilst helping to tackle climate change. Get started by filling out our online survey to get a free Desktop Diagnosis Report for your organisation.

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