NatWest is launching a new energy saving tool for small businesses

With Britain in the grip of a cold snap likely to send energy bills through the roof, NatWest has today launched a new digital tool designed to help small businesses cut their energy costs and carbon emissions.

The bank this morning launched a new online Energy Help and Support hub, offering a range of free recommendations on how small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can significantly reduce their energy bills.

The digital platform offers tailored advice and information on how energy efficiency measures, solar panels and heat pumps can all be used to help smaller businesses reduce their energy costs.

The tool uses a company’s zip code to provide information on estimated costs, return on investment and to help find suppliers.

The launch comes on the same day as NatWest published the results of a new survey showing that 45 percent of small businesses expect rising energy prices to pose a “significant challenge” by 2024.

The government this winter scaled back financial support packages introduced in the wake of the 2022 energy price spike caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Energy bill relief packages were allowed to lapse after energy prices fell from record highs seen in 2022, but industry bodies have repeatedly warned that energy costs for many businesses remain well above historical averages, threatening the viability of thousands of businesses.

However, energy experts have emphasized that higher energy costs have made investments in energy saving measures and on-site generation technologies significantly more attractive.

NatWest says its research shows that with the right support, up to 70 percent of business cases to reduce emissions will make financial sense for SMEs to deliver results by 2030.

“We know from our own research that many businesses will benefit financially from reducing their carbon footprint,” said James Holian, head of business banking at NatWest Group. “Yet most lack the support needed to make the necessary changes. This new tool takes the guesswork out by providing businesses with tailored recommendations to improve their energy efficiency. Whether installing solar panels or installing a low-carbon heat pump, the support will help businesses understand the estimated costs and return on investment of the changes. Together, this can empower business leaders to make well-informed decisions for their businesses, both financially and for the planet.”

The new tool follows NatWest’s recent launch of a free retrofit learning platform for the UK construction industry in partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School. The retrofit training program aims to help expand the skills base for the fast-growing retrofit market.

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