Guidance for consultants - requirements for the Green Business Loan Scheme

This guidance is for consultants or auditors undertaking an energy audit for a business where the business is applying to the Green Business Loan Scheme for a grant towards consultancy costs.

It summarises the process and the minimum requirements for the energy audit.

What's the purpose of the energy audit support through the Green Business Loan Scheme?

This support's for businesses that lack the knowledge, time, or capacity to identify the right steps to take their business on their Net Zero journey. Typically, these businesses will be in the early stages of decarbonisation and need expert support and guidance to make sure their actions have the greatest impact to maximise both energy and cost reductions.

There's no obligation for the business to continue to apply for project funding through the Green Business Loan Scheme following the completion of the energy audit. If the business wants to apply for funding, then this will be subject to both financial and technical eligibility being satisfied.

What are the minimum requirements to give consultancy support through the Green Business Loan Scheme?

Businesses are free to engage any energy consultant they choose as long as the following criteria is met:

  • You have a relevant qualification with a professional organisation in energy assessments or building energy audits.
  • You've read these guidelines and can confirm to the business that you can produce an energy audit output that aligns with the minimum requirements.
  • You give a written quote to the business to allow them to make an application to the Green Business Loan Scheme for an offer of match funding.
  • Work doesn't start until the business has confirmation that their application is successful.

What are the minimum requirements of the energy audit output?

We understand that as consultants/auditors, you'll have your own approaches to undertaking and presenting the outputs of your audit work. However, to make sure the grant funding is being awarded where a comprehensive output has been given to the business, and to help you quote appropriately, the table below gives an outline of the minimum report requirements. This isn't a definitive list of the work that should be undertaken, but shows the key elements that'll support businesses to identify and progress energy efficiency and decarbonisation opportunities.


1. Capturing relevant business information

This must include as a minimum:

  • Number of employees and typical operating hours
  • Site information including location, building type, occupancy
  • Current environmental approach
  • Nature of the business- sector, SIC

2. Assessing the business’ energy usage

This must include as a minimum:

  • Breakdown of energy usage and cost (by equipment/process) based on at least 12 months of verifiable data
  • Review of current energy providers
  • Analyse the building envelope, services and controls

3. Analysis, planning and calculating costs

This must include as a minimum:

  • Analysis showing the monthly breakdown of energy usage and costs
  • Review of the energy management procedures, including maintenance
  • Benchmark of energy performance against similar premises/processes
  • Consideration of any grid connection requirements and related costs
  • Identify energy and cost saving opportunities together with pay back periods of the investment needed to implement the energy saving measures


4. Creating a set of recommendations and action plan

This must include as a minimum:

  • Summary of findings and recommendations for the business
  • Prioritise no or low-cost opportunities through to larger capital investment opportunities and create business specific action plans with breakdown of the annual energy and CO2 emissions saving
  • Identification of potential suppliers to support next steps
  • Recommendations on how to communicate changes to employees, allowing them to be involved in reducing the company’s overall carbon footprint


5. Project development activities

This must include as a minimum:

  • Soft market testing to identify appropriate suppliers
  • Planning support- where required
  • Specification development
  • Funding application support, where needed


Although aimed at larger businesses, you can find a best practice approach in carrying out assessments in the UK Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme guidance.

Who's responsible for signing off of the energy audit?

The minimum requirement list above should be used to make sure the output is aligned with the requirements of the Green Business Loan Scheme. Agreement on satisfactory completion of the work will be between the business and the consultant. We won't be assessing acceptance of each audit, but we may appraise outputs from time to time to monitor adherence to the scheme requirements.

How do I invoice for payment?

At all times your engagement will be with the business, and not the scheme itself. Once the work has been carried out and completed in line with the minimum requirements laid out above you'll invoice the business for the full cost of the work. Once this has been finalised the business will then claim the grant support through the scheme.

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any questions about the Green Business Loan Scheme or the consultancy funding offer, then please email us.