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Climate Change & Resilience

The Issue

The way that the UK generates, distributes and manages energy is facing a huge transformation as we seek to move to a more sustainable energy system and meet our 2050 carbon reduction targets. For smaller businesses, the costs of this investment must be fair while maximising their opportunities to take control of their own carbon footprint. FSB research shows that 12 per cent of small businesses generate their own energy and 58 per cent have made changes to improve their energy efficiency.

Small businesses must also be empowered to adapt to and reduce the impacts of an already changing climate. FSB research shows two thirds of small businesses were negatively affected by severe weather in the previous three years. Yet only a quarter of micro-businesses (those with less than 10 staff) have a resilience plan in place that includes adverse weather.

Action FSB has taken

  • Provided evidence to various Government and industry consultations, working groups and reports, including the Committee on Climate Change.
  • Engaged with energy companies so they provide clear advice and support for small businesses, about their plans to roll out smart meters.
  • Working as part of an expert industry advisory panel to inform the creation of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan.
  • Successfully lobbied for the creation of a Government-supported, but industry-led, group looking at improving small business resilience and affordable access to flood insurance. We are also active member of this group.
  • Lobbied the UK Government to continue investing in strategic flood defences.
  • Worked with Government and industry to provide a website with advice and information about resilience planning for small businesses, as well as funding sources and a place to share best practice.

Our Goal

As smart meters are rolled out, smaller firms must be able to play an active and empowered role in the new, smart market of the future. Smaller firms must be supported to generate their own energy, use energy more efficiently, and take advantage of energy storage and management technology. This will allow them to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce their costs, and reduce their dependence on a centralised energy system.

Small firms must also be empowered to adapt to severe weather. FSB believes that resilience plans are critical for reducing the impact of severe weather on small businesses. But Government and industry must also do more to support small businesses to invest in property level protection and reduce their insurance premiums.

Achievements in...



  • We produced a comprehensive report – The Price of Power – looking at the threats and opportunities for smaller businesses in a new, low carbon energy system.
  • We worked with Fingleton Associates to produce a report into Open Energy, exploring the importance of data in a future energy market.
  • Our report "Severe weather - a more resilient small business community" was published in July 2015.
  • We worked as part of the Defra-led Property Flood Resilience Group to produce the Property Flood Resilience Action Plan.
  • We worked as part of the Broadway expert industry advisory group to create the Blueprint for an Environment Act.


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