Scottish retailers who successfully apply for a government loan to invest in energy efficiency improvements will receive up to £10,000 cashback, under a new scheme announced today (1 February).

Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish government have announced a new ‘cashback’ scheme to help small businesses tackle rising energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

For a limited time only, eligible small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) applying for an interest-free, unsecured Scottish government loan can receive 30% cashback on the value on completion of their energy efficiency improvements – or up to £10,000.

The SME Loan 30% Cashback incentive is open to applicants who are investing in improvements such as LED lighting, more energy-efficient heating systems or equipment, or building insulation.

The scheme was announced at store owner Aleem Farooqi’s Goldenacre Mini Market in Edinburgh. Aleem’s successful application for the SME Loan in 2016, to upgrade the store’s lighting and refrigeration, has generated annual electricity savings worth almost £1,800.

“Having operated Goldenacre Mini Market in Edinburgh for 15 years, I was delighted to have the chance to upgrade some of my older lighting and refrigeration equipment to more energy efficient models that are now saving me about 30% on my electricity bills. That’s money that I can put back into my business and continue to serve the community,” he said.

“I would recommend the SME Loan to any small business owner – and with an additional cashback element now available it’s a great opportunity for retailers to invest in the future of their business.”

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scottish government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “In addition to benefits for individual businesses, reducing the environmental impact of Scotland’s energy needs will bring us closer to the low carbon energy future set out in Scotland’s Energy Strategy – generating benefits for Scotland’s economy as well as the environment.

“This fund is part of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP), which will support buildings across Scotland – both domestic and non-domestic – to improve their energy efficiency rating over a 15-20 year period.”

To find out more about the SME Loan 30% Cashback incentive, and to apply, call Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland service on 0808 808 2268, or visit here.