The UK could fail to meet climate obligations without the help of small businesses, warns the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB’s latest report The Price of Power: Energising small business in the next UK Carbon Plan shows how small firms could be the key to closing the carbon gap if there were fewer barriers and improved incentives.
It is now calling on the government to introduce a new carbon plan which includes a specific strategy on crucial areas such as microgeneration and energy efficiency across the UK’s small business community.
The research shows that ‘security of supply’ is the biggest energy concern for 60% of small businesses and nearly nine in 10 believe the UK is too reliant on imported energy.
One in 10 small businesses already generate their own energy, mainly using solar panels. But more needs to be done to encourage the other 88%.
FSB’s research also shows that more than half of small firms have made changes to improve the energy efficiency of their business. But many are disempowered or not given enough incentives to make further improvements.
Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “The UK energy sector is facing the greatest transformation since the Industrial Revolution.
“Many small businesses are willing and capable of becoming more energy efficient, and even generating energy. With the right support, they can play a critical role in helping the UK reach its green targets and shore up supply.
“But the whole system for incentivising and subsidising infrastructure lacks transparency, consistency, direction and ambition. It needs a strategic overhaul.
“Our research shows small firms want energy security to be a priority.
Brexit raises yet more questions about the UK’s future power supply.
“Infrastructure costs must be shared out equitably with small firms playing a pivotal role in securing Britain’s energy future.
“Poor investment planning could place the greatest cost burden on those that can least afford it and restrict new opportunities to a lucky few.”