The Government should re-launch its Green Deal for small businesses and the Green Investment Bank should be used to offer low-interest loans to firms that want to improve their energy efficiency, according to a new study.
The report, which was published by the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum and think tank Carbon Connect, followed a six-month cross-party inquiry chaired by Conservative MP Oliver Colvile and Labour’s Lord Whitty.
The report said: “The non-domestic Green Deal is ‘open for business’, however awareness of the scheme is low throughout the business community as indicated by this inquiry’s own primary research.
“A ‘re-launch’ of the scheme would rekindle the interest of potential Green Deal customers, particularly SMEs, and should be based upon a ‘street-by-street’ roll-out, supported by a DECC-hosted ‘hub’ website.”
Tougher penalties for landlords are also on the cards. The report, in addition, calls for a clampdown on commercial landlords failing to meet minimum energy efficiency standards by increasing financial penalties for those failing to produce Energy Performance Certificates and display Energy Certificates for their buildings.
“The obvious cost savings – coupled with improved productivity that can be realised from energy efficiency – makes it quite clear that now is the time to invest on a large scale.
“To do that requires government intervention – to raise awareness, guarantee low cost loans, stimulate the market and incentivise the landlords.”