How would you use £1m of Energy Entrepreneurs Fund?

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund was created to nurture inventive ways of combatting climate change. If you have a great idea you could secure up to £1million funding to develop it.

Energy Entrepreneurs fund money

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund was created to nurture inventive ways of combatting climate change.  If you have a great idea you could secure up to £1million funding to develop it.

What is the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund?

Do you have an innovative idea to combat climate change?  What product idea do you have could reduce our energy consumption?  If you are a budding green energy entrepreneur get your bid into the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.  You could secure up to £1 million and start your business or project idea.  

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund was set up to nurture unique and inventive ways of combatting climate change.  Originally £35million was given to the fund to help small businesses get their projects off the ground.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are running the fund.  The remaining £19million is to be released over the next two years.  The aim of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is to help meet carbon emissions targets and boost our economy through employment.

Phase II of funding:

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund actually just entered phase II.  Phase I successfully funded projects including:

  • Heat storage
  • Energy storage
  • Tidal turbine testing
  • A thermally-insulating window
  • An eco power shower

Phase II is focusing on energy efficiency, storage and low carbon generation ideas.  If you have a project but do not have the financial means to develop it, you should definitely apply for the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.  You never know, your bid could be one of the few to secure up to £1 million of investment.

If you haven’t applied yet, you have just missed the first call (July 12th) but don’t worry in about 4-6 months there will be a new call for bids.  Apply and get your bid honed ready for the next call.  There is only £19 million left in the pot.

5 steps to creating a great bid:

There are a number of criteria that the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is looking for in each bid.  Make sure your bid covers the each of the following to be in with a better chance of winning.  Remember the competition is fierce.

  1. You have to prove the potential impact your project has on 2020 and/or 2050 low carbon emission targets
  2. You must prove there is a technical viability to your project
  3. There must be a strategic development plan that can commercially progress your project
  4. Naturally you have to prove your idea is value for money
  5. Finally you must prove the size and nature of your business idea

If you can prove all five of these things in your bid then the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund will take notice of you.

Small businesses are key to growth in energy efficiency:

Recently the Energy Secretary Ed Davey said

“An ambitious and driven small business sector can steer the economic recovery in the right direction.  So I want to see Britain’s brightest and best SME’s sending in their applications.”

He is right.  The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund comes at a time when energy efficiency is shown as the key strategy for growth in small businesses.  According to the Business Energy Index (nBEI), about 50% of small businesses in UK benefit from saving energy.

They surveyed 500 small businesses across many sectors and found that most recognised the business benefits of cutting energy use.  Some of these benefits for your business could be:

  • Lower operating costs
  • Reinvesting savings back into your business
  • These savings could improve your offices, your equipment and staff training

How the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund helps small businesses:

In 2012, 44% of all small businesses in the UK reduced their energy consumption by up to 10%.  Also 59% said they plan to implement, or increase their energy efficiency initiatives.

This is great, and will go a long way in helping the UK reach its carbon emission targets.  However, as you can imagine, or have experience of, many energy efficiency goals are hindered or stopped altogether because the money isn’t there.

Many small businesses fail to meet their energy efficiency goals simply because they are not receiving enough financial support from the government.  The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is one project that hopes to change that for some.

What should I do next?

If you have an idea that you believe could help yourself and other businesses reduce their carbon emissions, then you should apply to the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.  There will be more than enough financial support for your project if you are successful.

Firstly you should visit the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund page.  Here you can read in much more detail the guidance notes for bids.  When you are ready you can fill out your application form on that same page.

Just bear in mind the next call for bids will be between November and January.  Use this time to refine your proposal.  Good luck.


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