What businesses need to know about Ofgem’s new £450m green fund
- Posted by cu_admin
- On 27 September 2021
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What is the fund and what exactly does it mean for your business?
The UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, has launched a huge £450 million fund designed to support the UK in its effort to reach the net zero climate targets set out by the government in 2019. The money will be put towards innovative sustainability projects and will make funds available to energy network companies trying to help homes and businesses go green.
This is all part of the UK’s wider goals to slash 68% of emissions by 2030, and 78% by 2035. These milestones are necessary in order to hit the broader target of becoming a net zero nation by 2050.
But what does this new fund mean for businesses? And what changes can we expect to see in the coming years?
The new fund is designed to help homes and businesses alike be greener
The £450m fund from Ofgem will be available over the next five years but it could be extended if strong plans are presented. There has not yet been a firm outline of how these funds will be used but Ofgem is looking for “bold and ambitious” plans to be rolled out at scale across the UK. These could range from developing battery storage technology to heat pump installations.
The funding will be considered for projects dealing with everything from heating and transport to digitalisation and data handling, as well as “whole system integration” from plant to plug.
Ofgem’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, commented on the release of the fund, saying: “What we need, more than ever, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero, is innovation. The strategic innovation fund means cutting-edge ideas and new technologies become a reality, helping us find greener ways to travel, and to heat and power Britain at low cost.”
Why is the fund being released now?
The climate crisis is more evident than it’s ever been. Scientists are warning that time is running out to turn the tide on climate change before it becomes too late. Given that 2020 was the warmest year on record, it has never been more apparent that green initiatives are required sooner rather than later.
In addition to this, the announcement of the Ofgem fund comes hot on the heels of the global pandemic. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, researchers tracked a 12.4% drop in carbon emission from global businesses in 30 countries, as people were forced to stay away from energy-intensive offices and shops. However, the ULI Greenprint Centre for Building Performance says that while emissions “dipped briefly” during the pandemic, they “rebounded quickly”.
This has put fresh pressure on companies to make more effort to go green. The government has also started offering carbon reduction workshops and “practical net zero advice” to UK businesses, run by the net zero certification group Planet Mark. These workshops are available until November.
Although it’s still not clear how exactly these funds will be used, it’s important for businesses to stay up to date with any changes the green fund bring forth. It may result in new responsibilities, as well as new ways to save on your business energy costs.
Paying closer attention to your energy consumption
Having a clearer picture of your organisation’s energy usage and where it is possible to make efficiency savings is the first step towards lowering its carbon footprint. Not only is this an important step towards long-term sustainability, it’s also important to the short-term profitability of any enterprise.
At Consultiv Utilities we are able to help organisations of all sizes and sectors to make important energy efficiency savings and secure the best rates on business gas and electricity. Get in touch with the team at Consultiv Utilities today to start prioritising fair energy costs.