Funding has been awarded for eight projects to develop new business models that encourage take up of energy efficiency solutions by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Through the Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency (BASEE) competition, the government sought to address some of the key market failures that are faced by SMEs. These include a lack of economics of scale, high upfront capital costs, high transaction costs and a difficult accessing finance.
After an initial phase of the competition, where 14 projects were selected to develop feasibility studies for their solutions, eight have moved forward into phase two, where they will be given a share of £6mn to develop these solutions.
The eight projects to be selected are:
- arbnco’s Digital Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP) is an online platform that will look to empower SMEs to engage and implement energy efficiency measures. It will do this by simplifying and automating the process of engaging with energy efficiency through targeting and optimising two key components of business energy performance: total energy consumption and the energy performance of its premises.
- BRE is looking to develop an innovative online tool to assist small and medium-sized residential care home providers to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
- Through a streamlined app, fluttr will look to increase the uptake of energy efficiency investment within SME hospitality groups by increasing awareness of their business specific energy usage and encouraging suitable upgrades. It noted that with the UK hospitality sector’s annual consumption standing at 17,000GWh, it has the potential to reduce overall energy use by 25% and could see cost savings through energy efficiency measures of up to 40%.
- Element Energy has developed an online platform using smart meter data and business characteristics to promote energy efficiency investments for SMEs.
- EnergyPro’s ESCO-in-a-box project will look to demonstrate a community-based organisation can deliver energy efficiency services to SMEs when equipped with the right tooklit. Oxfordshire is set to be a pilot area.
- The Hoare Lea project is aiming to address barriers faced by SMEs and landlords in securing energy efficiency investment. This is something that will be done through standardised contracts, specifications and processes to limit friction in the energy efficiency marketplace. The project will create compelling product bundles for both landlords and tenants.
- Qbots’ Q-Energy is a smart energy service platform for SME customers, using automation and data-driven approaches to serve customers on an ongoing basis. This will limit the number of site visits and face-to-face meetings.
- VRM Technology’s Smarter Choices service is to simplify and secure access to quality-assured building energy efficiency solutions for SMEs. The package will be available at scale for a wide range of SMEs with a £50,000 minimum investment for energy conservation measures.