At the end of April, Chancellor George Osbourne announced that the government’s Funding for Lending Scheme, which incentivises banks to provide loans by offering cheap rates, will be extended to 2015 and will also put a greater emphasis on lending to small businesses.

During tough economic times it’s often difficult for small and medium sized businesses to secure funding, so the latest announcement could help thousands of organisations around the country, allowing them to think about investing in growth and development.

The government are currently taking a variety of measures to help UK businesses, including a recently announced scheme giving clear guidance for energy intensive businesses on how to claim compensation to offset their commercial energy costs.

If your business is managing to weather the economic storm and is looking for ways to keep costs down, it may be worth considering a long-term investment in energy saving. Beyond simple day-to-day measures to reduce energy use, these bigger projects will take a larger initial investment, but could yield great long-term results.

Upgrade your boiler

Your boiler could account for around 55% of what you spend on your energy bills, so make sure that you’re using a model that’s as efficient as possible. If you’re currently relying on an old gas boiler, then an A-rated, high-efficiency condensing boiler could reduce your costs significantly and cut down your carbon footprint at the same time.

Modern condensing boilers burn their fuel more efficiently and use up to date technology to recover more heat and reduce waste, cutting back on the amount of energy you need to invest to heat your premises.

Insulate your premises

Investing in good insulation for your premises can also have a bit impact on your energy bills. To be thorough you could ask an energy consultant to visit your premises and tell you where you may be losing heat. You can insulate tanks, pipes and radiators as well as floors, walls and roofs, allowing heat to be kept inside the building and reducing the amount of work that your heating system has to do to maintain a stable temperature.

Install motion-sensitive lighting

Ensuring that lights are turned off whenever a room is empty can have a big impact on your energy bills, so if you want to go further and make sure that this is happening across your business, invest in motion-sensitive lighting that will only turn on when the sensors notice that there are people around. You’ll no longer need to pay to light empty rooms.

Ensure you make the most of the savings by familiarising yourself with your business electricity prices and tariff and by submitting up-to-date meter readings when prompted – that way, you’ll start to see the savings and avoid a bill that’s estimated according to your previous levels of use.

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