Advertisement
Money

Charities and social enterprises offered loans to beat energy bills

Big Issue Invest is offering energy bill loans to charities and social enterprises which are struggling with rising costs.

Charities and social enterprises wondering how they will keep the lights and heating on as energy bills shoot upwards have been offered a potential lifeline in the form of cheap loans to invest in renewables

Business leaders around the country have warned of mass closures due to the energy bills crisis, leading to the government announcing six months of help, capping prices at “less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter”.

In a bid to help businesses for social good find long-term solutions rather than a short-term fix, Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of the Big Issue, is now offering loans of up to £150,000 for organisations to install measures such as insulation or heat pumps to keep costs down.

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription

Big Energy Saving Loans are available for social enterprises and charities in England, ranging from £20,000 to £150,000 and can be also used for installing renewable energy equipment.

Permanent, money-saving improvements such as replacing old boilers, or getting rid of single-glazed windows can also be funded with the loans.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Businesses were not included in Liz Truss’s initial package of energy bill support announced in September and were left waiting as they discovered what help would be extended.

The government’s energy bill relief programme for businesses, announced on Wednesday, is expected to cost the taxpayer around £25 billion, and will cap electricity costs at £211 per MWh and gas costs at £75 per MWh. Without the cap, prices were expected to hit £450 for electricity. 

However, the new capped electricity price is still nearly double what it was in October 2021, at £117. And it is not known what help will be available after six months. This means that, while some help is available, businesses across the country are still vulnerable to rising prices.

Grants from Big Issue Invest have helped a community in Milton Keynes transform the way they get power, providing clean energy for the long run,

Wolverton Community Energy, aided by funding from BII, has taken on projects including solar panels and helped insulate locals from sudden rises in energy prices.

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

Danyal Sattar, chief executive at Big Issue Invest, said: “It’s an immediate response, an immediate thing we can do for what organisations are experiencing right now.

“Even before this, there was tightness in the supply chain around renewable equipment. If you were doing renewables, your costs were slipping upwards.”

A side effect of increasing bills, Sattar added, is that money spent on renewables can pay itself back quickly: “There are real energy savings to be had. It’s just saving money.”

Firms will need to show a clear energy saving case, and an ability to repay the loan. More details can be found here.

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Ways to make extra money in the cost of living crisis
Cost of living crisis

Ways to make extra money in the cost of living crisis

Where to get help with energy bills this winter in the cost of living crisis
Cost of living crisis

Where to get help with energy bills this winter in the cost of living crisis

Student finance, discounts and budgeting tips for surviving university in a cost of living crisis
University

Student finance, discounts and budgeting tips for surviving university in a cost of living crisis

How will the energy bill freeze work, and how will it affect me?
Energy crisis

How will the energy bill freeze work, and how will it affect me?

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

Sign up to the Big Issue Newsletter to receive your free digital edition. Featuring some of our favourite archive pieces from Letters to My Younger Self with Olivia Colman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Terry Gilliam, Chuck D and Rod Stewart.