The government is offering up to £6 million of funding for innovative solutions that encourage the uptake of energy efficiency by SMEs in the commercial and industrial sectors.
The Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency (BASEE) competition is expected to address some of the key market failures faced by SMEs such as high upfront capital costs, high transaction costs and difficulty accessing finance.
It is part of the government’s efforts to enable businesses to improve their energy efficiency by at least 20% by 2030 and follows proposals for a new energy efficiency scheme for small businesses that could help unlock up to £2.5 billion a year in savings.
The three categories to consider for the competition are:
- Business models that look to simplify and standardise elements of the investment
- A new technical tool or solution, such as a platform which provides a standardised method of assessing and displaying potential savings from a portfolio of buildings or match potential businesses who want to install energy efficiency with technology providers
- Other innovative solutions to facilitate investment in energy efficiency for SMEs
BEIS states: “The aim of the Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency (BASEE) competition is to accelerate the growth of the energy services market for SMEs by driving down transaction costs and promoting third party investment in energy efficiency projects.
“SMEs already pay for a small number of energy efficiency measures with short pay back periods, however, the evidence suggests that external finance will be required to deliver measures with longer pay back periods which are required if we are to meet the 2030 ambition.
“The competition will make available £6m of funding for new, innovative scalable business models or solutions that reduce costs, simplify processes and encourage the take up of energy efficiency by SMEs at scale.”
The first phase of the competition – a detailed application stage when projects will be reviewed – is open until 8th May 2019.
Up to 10 projects are expected to be approved, at a value of £100,000 each.
The chosen projects will then have the opportunity to develop and submit applications for the second phase of the funding, which is likely to be awarded to up to five projects worth up to £1 million each.