Small business energy grants – what’s available

As part of the Government’s pledge to reach net-zero by 2050, almost £5bn has been put aside to help UK businesses become greener. There are small business energy grants covering everything from installing heat pumps and electric car charging points through to adding solar panels or just insulating your building.

These are available either nationally, regionally or at local authority level, so check out our list below.


Where to find green small business grants – If you fancy making your business and its operations that bit greener, these eco grants will help you get there


United Kingdom

Workplace Charging Scheme

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides eligible applicants with support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

It is available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but not in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

The grant covers up to 75 per cent of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV charge points (inclusive of VAT), capped at a maximum of:

  • £350 per socket
  • 40 sockets across all sites per applicant – for instance, if you would like to install them in 40 sites, you will have one socket available per site

After applying using the online application form, successful applicants are issued with a unique identification voucher code by email, which can then be given to any OZEV-authorised commercial charge point installer.

England and Wales only

Boiler upgrade scheme

What is it? With this scheme, you can get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler.

£450 million of grant funding is available over three years from 2022 to 2025.

You’re eligible if:

  • Own the property you’re applying for (including if it’s a business address)
  • Be replacing fossil fuel heating systems (such as oil, gas or electric)

How much? You can get one grant per property. Grants are available for:

  • £7,500 towards an air source heat pump
  • £7,500 towards a ground source heat pump (including water source heat pumps and those on shared ground loops)
  • £5,000 towards a biomass boiler

Your property must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation.

How to apply

  • Contact suitable MCS certified installers to get quotes for the work
  • Confirm you’re eligible (your installer will tell you)
  • Agree a quote with your chosen installer
  • The installer will apply on your behalf on the Ofgem website

The value of the grant will be taken off the amount you pay for installation.


Solar panel grants for businesses – If your business uses solar panels, you can generate cash from National Grid suppliers for the energy you produce and do not use


England

Birmingham

Commercial vehicle grant

What is it? This £10m grant scheme aims to help small businesses based within the Birmingham Clean Air Zone (CAZ), wider Birmingham and West Midlands region to meet European standards.

Who can apply? You must have been trading for more than 12 months and own or lease heavy goods vehicles or light good vehicles that are not complaint with CAZ emission standards. You must also be able to demonstrate your use of clean air zones through your commercial operations.

How much? The total grant package for each business is up to £180,000 – that’s up to £15,000 per heavy goods vehicle and up to 35 per cent of the maximum cost of an upgrade up at a maximum of £4,000 for each light goods vehicle.

How to apply You can find out more and register here.

Derbyshire

Green Entrepreneurs Fund

Green Entrepreneurs Fund helps businesses, organisations, communities and individuals interested in developing skills in the green economy and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

Green Entrepreneurs Small Grant Fund

Grants of between £6,000 to £20,000 are available for proposals for alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction projects.

To be eligible, projects must have a minimum spend of £15,000 and there is a maximum intervention rate of 40 per cent. A total of £500,000 has been set aside for this fund.

Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Grant Fund

£1.2m has been earmarked for a small number of high-quality, larger scale carbon-cutting projects in Derbyshire. This fund is open to larger scale projects that are designed to encourage solutions beyond the mainstream of current thinking.

The maximum grant available through this fund is £200,000.

Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund

This fund will support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of low carbon, green energy. Individuals can access up to £1,500 for training costs. £100,000 has been set aside for this fund.

The scholarship grants will allow individuals to study around their existing responsibilities. It will enable them to obtain the skills and qualifications they need to change their career or progress in employment. The study can take place either online or face to face or a combination of both.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the careers service and discuss their plans before applying for a green entrepreneur programme scholarship grant.

East Sussex

Energy efficiency grants for East Sussex businesses

What is it? An SME may apply for a grant between £200 to £1,000 to cover a maximum 40 per cent of the total value of their energy efficiency project through the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC.

The minimum grant amount you can apply for is £200 with a total project spend of at least £500

Who can apply? The grant is available to any business, social enterprise or charity that:

  • Has fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees
  • Has a turnover less than £44m
  • Is not owned by a group or company that does not meet the above two criteria

To apply for a grant the SME must also have:

  • A premises in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove) where the energy efficiency project will be installed
  • Received an energy audit to identify energy saving measures; provided through the LoCASE project, or through a similar scheme or a private supplier.

How to apply You can download an application form below.

Download Application Form

To apply for the grant please email your completed application form and supporting documents to info@sustainablebusiness.org.uk.

Greater Manchester

Carbon Reduction Grant

What is it? SMEs in Greater Manchester may be eligible for grants between £2,000 and £25,000 (before VAT) to cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of energy efficiency improvements up to a maximum grant of £12,500.

The Carbon Reduction Grant is available for a limited time on a first-come-first-served basis and can go towards, for example:

  • A new LED lighting system for your premises
  • Heating equipment upgrades
  • Replacement drives or motors
  • Process efficiency investments

How to apply If you’re eligible, fill out the form in the link here

Norfolk and Suffolk

Business Transition to Net Zero Grant

What is it? The Business Transition to Net Zero Grant is aimed at businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk with ambitions to reduce their carbon footprint and increase productivity.

Grants between £25,000 and £100,000 are available, covering up to 20 per cent of the cost of the development. To be awarded the minimum of £25,000, you must show total project costs of at least £125,000.

What it covers The scheme funds capital development, such as those which make use of clean and/or renewable energy production and the recycling of goods and materials, rather than the installation of LED lighting or the supply or installation fo solar panels.

Who can apply Businesses based in Norfolk or Suffolk that have at least two years’ worth of accounts.

How to apply Contact New Anglia Growth Hub

Nottinghamshire

Workplace Travel Grant

The Workplace Travel Grant offers small businesses in Nottingham up to £25,000 financial support to help meet the costs of workplace travel improvements such as electric vehicle charge points, cycle parking, showers, pool bikes, car sharing and car parking management.

Businesses in Nottingham have until 31 December 2023 to apply here.

Worcestershire

Net Zero Worcestershire

What is it? Grant funding available to help SMEs in Worcestershire to implement energy saving initiatives including LED lighting, heating and insulation and renewables.

How much?

Bromsgrove: £1,000 to £10,000

Malvern: £1,000 to £8,000

Redditch: £1,000 to £10,000

Worcester: £1,000 to £5,000 (revenue grants only)

Wychavon: £1,000 to £5,000

Wyre Forest: £1,000 to £10,000

Net Zero Worcestershire grants are awarded on a match-funded basis, meaning the SME will need to provide at least 60 per cent of the total cost of the project.

What can the grant be used for?

The grant can be used to fund a variety of business activities, including, but not limited to:

  • lighting
  • compressors
  • insulation
  • fast-shutting doors
  • renewable technology
  • heat recovery
  • heaters and boilers
  • energy efficiency equipment that leads to process improvements
  • energy management

How to apply Email grants@worcestershire.gov.uk

Yorkshire

Hull Business Energy Efficiency Scheme

Funding of up to £15,000 for SMEs based in Hull towards replacing inefficient systems and equipment, and installation of new smart systems to help save energy.

  • Lighting
  • Heating
  • Solar panels
  • EV chargers

How to apply You can apply here.

Scotland

East Ayreshire

Net Zero Grant

The East Ayrshire Net Zero Grant provides up to 50 per cent funding, up to £3,000, to support local businesses to transition towards net zero carbon emissions and also help offset the current rises in energy costs.

The fund is intended to help small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to implement energy and resource efficiency improvements. It can be used for:

  • The purchase of equipment that would contribute to energy saving
  • Green skills training
  • Renewable energy installations (for example, solar, ground or air source heat pumps)
  • Waste management or recycling
  • Lighting systems
  • Roof and building insulation
  • Low energy heating

To be eligible, a business must:

  • Have been trading for at least 12 months
  • Employ between three and 49 people
  • Be working with Business Energy Scotland or the University of Strathclyde
  • Have completed a business energy efficiency audit and created a carbon reduction plan

Falkirk

Energy Efficiency Fund

The Falkirk Council Energy Efficiency Fund can provide grants to cover up to 50 per cent of your project costs, with a maximum of £10,000 per grant. The minimum grant value is £1,000, which means your project must cost at least £2,000.

The fund can be used to make changes to business premises and business operations to reduce their carbon footprint from energy consumption. This might include:

  • Changing to a low carbon heating system
  • Installation of low and zero carbon generating technologies, such as solar PV, biomass and micro-wind
  • Building fabric upgrades such as insulation, energy-efficient lighting, draught-proofing, double or triple glazing

Before you begin your application, you will need a record of:

  • The trading name of the business
  • The number of employees, your turnover and export sales (where applicable)
  • The proposed expenditure
  • Your business bank details
  • The rateable value of your premises – this can be found on www.saa.gov.uk
  • A copy of your lease if you are paying non-domestic rates for the premise
  • Your latest set of accounts and management accounts, as well as a business plan (or mini business plan)
  • Two quotes for each item being purchased
  • A calculation of your baseline carbon footprint
  • The projected emissions reduction from this investment

Glasgow

Green Business Grant

The Glasgow City Council Green Business Grant will help businesses in Glasgow address both the cost of living and climate crises through measures such as energy efficiency, renewables, active travel and waste management.

The Green Business Grant is worth up to £10,000, which will cover up to 50 per cent of the total cost of a project. Projects can include anything that helps businesses reduce their energy bills and make progress towards achieving net zero carbon emissions.

To be eligible for the grant, your business must:

  • Be a small or medium-sized enterprise (as defined in the Companies Act 2006)
  • Have been trading for at least six months
  • Own its own premises in Glasgow or have written permission from your landlord to make changes to the premises and seek planning permissions from Glasgow City Council Planning Division to implement the works detailed in your application
  • Have a Glasgow postcode and pay non-domestic rates in Glasgow
  • Be headquartered in Glasgow

Premises of an organisation based outside Glasgow will not be considered. Businesses whose main base is within the city boundary cannot use the grant to improve premises or create jobs outside Glasgow.

Businesses that are owned by another business with more than a 25 per cent stake are not eligible.

The grant will close to new applications on 20 December 2024 or when the budget is fully allocated, whichever is earlier.

West Lothian

Low Carbon Energy Efficiency Grant

The Low Carbon/Energy Efficiency Grant is worth up to £10,000 for West Lothian businesses that are looking to:

  • Overcome barriers to reducing their carbon emissions
  • Implement new business processes that will help reduce carbon emissions
  • Implement strategic changes identified through consultancy support
  • Promote their green credentials
  • Enter a new market in the net zero landscape

Your business must also:

  • Have at least five employees
  • Have been trading for at least one year
  • Have growth potential over the next three years

Perth & Kinross

Green Recovery Capital Development Grant

Through the Green Recovery Capital Development Grant, Perth and Kinross Council has made funding of up to £25,000 available for businesses that were financially affected by Covid-19, with preference given to projects which involve green initiatives to reduced your business’s carbon footprint.

  • Replacement windows
  • Solar panels
  • Vehicle charging points

This fund offers grants of up to £25,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs. Projects must involve a minimum spend of £10,000, which means that businesses must match the funding with at least £5,000.

The grant will not be awarded upfront immediately after approval – instead, you will receive payment after you make your purchases and submit receipts or invoices. This means that initially you must be able to afford the project’s full cost until you are refunded.

Priority will be given to projects that reduce the carbon footprint of your business. Applications must be submitted before 28 February, 2024.

East Renfrewshire

SBA Get to Zero Grant

The SBA Get to Zero Grant provides funding for businesses to improve energy efficiencies or purchase more efficient equipment.

Grant applications under £10,000 will receive up to £5,000 funding. Grant applications over £10,000 will receive a maximum 50 per cent funding up to a maximum grant total of £10,000.

Measures could include:

  • Low energy heating and lighting systems
  • Improved insulation for roof and building
  • Solar, ground or air source heat or solar thermal technology
  • Waste management or recycling
  • Equipment that demonstrates a significant energy saving through its installation

Wales

Cadwyn Clwyd

Community Innovation Denbighshire

Led by Cadwyn Clwyd and Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), the £600,000 Community Innovation Denbighshire project will focus on encouraging micro firms and others to deliver environmental benefits.

Supported by Denbighshire County Council and part-funded by the Government through the £220m UK Community Renewal Fund, support is available for 25 organisations or individuals who can apply for a £5,000 grant they will match-fund to trial new products, systems and services.

Business Wales will also be on hand with guidance and advice throughout the process.

For more information, email admin@cadwynclwyd.co.uk or call 01490 340500.

Carmarthenshire

Business Renewable Energy Fund

Business Renewable Energy Fund offers grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 towards the cost of buying a renewable energy system. Each grant will be based on no more than 50 per cent of eligible costs.

Eligible businesses include:

  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Creative Industries
  • Energy and Environment
  • Finance and Professional Services
  • Information Technology and Telecoms
  • Life Sciences
  • Food & Drink
  • Tourism
  • Retail
  • Care

The grant can be used for:

Power Systems

  • Small scale, single wind turbine
  • Solar photovoltaic panels (roof mounted/ ground mounted)
  • Solar photovoltaic battery
  • Grid linked battery storage system (where the tariff is with a renewable energy supplier)
  • Hydro-electric

Heating Systems

  • Air Source Heat Pump (Air to water and air to air)
  • Ground Source Heat Pump (vertical, horizontal, diagonal & radial)
  • Solar thermal panels (roof mounted/ ground mounted)

More on small business energy grants

150 UK small business grants to apply for right now – UPDATED – In need of some funding for your small business? These grants should give you a boost, wherever you’re based in the UK.

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