To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support SMEs operating in the UK to transition to net zero.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
22 October 2021
This Department is taking many steps to encourage SMEs to transition to Net Zero and to support SMEs through the barriers which prevent the transition. These steps are detailed below.
Information and engagement
Ahead of COP26, BEIS has launched the Together for Our Planet Business Climate Leaders’ campaign, which has encouraged over 1,900 small and micro businesses across the UK to join the Race to Zero by making the SME Climate Commitment.
Addressing energy efficiency
In order to help SMEs overcome barriers to investing in energy efficiency we launched the Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency innovation competition. The competition offered up to £6m to fund the development of new, innovative market solutions that can provide businesses with tailored energy efficiency advice, as well as simplifying the energy efficiency investment processes through the creation of one-stop-shop platforms.
Access to Finance
I have recently given the British Business Bank a new mission to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses. Between 2014 and the third quarter of 2020 a total of £160m has been invested into clean technology businesses by equity funds backed by the British Business Bank.
Small businesses can access the government grants available for plug-in vehicles which help reduce the up-front purchase price of electric vehicles. Eligible cars, costing less than £35,000, can receive a grant of £2,500. Small vans can receive up to £3,000 and large vans up to £6,000.