Small business incentives are 'key to closing carbon gap' says FSB

12 Jan 2017

A new report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that the UK risks failing to meet its climate obligations unless more is done to incentivise small businesses.

The report, entitled ‘The Price of Power: Energising Small Business in the next UK Carbon Plan’, claims that making it easier and more attractive for small firms to contribute to the generation of green energy would help to meet carbon targets and make the UK more self-sufficient with supplies. 

The FSB found that 12% of small businesses generate their own energy, mainly using solar panels, while 58% have made changes to improve the energy efficiency of their business.

However, it claims that more needs to be done to incentivise other small firms, and that a new UK carbon plan should promote microgeneration, including for the 46% of small businesses who rent their premises.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘The UK energy sector is facing the greatest transformation since the Industrial Revolution. But the whole system for incentivising and subsidising infrastructure lacks transparency, consistency, direction and ambition. It needs a strategic overhaul.

‘The government should produce urgently an updated carbon plan, looking specifically at small businesses as an audience. Without the input of an engaged and empowered small business community, the UK risks failing to meet its binding emissions targets.’

The FSB also found that 27% of firms believe that a low-carbon economy would create more opportunities than threats for their business, while just 14% thought the opposite.