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ScottishPower backs green recovery for businesses:
Q&A with Andrew Ward, CEO UK Retail

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, ScottishPower has been working 24/7 to keep the power flowing for its business customers.

This month Andrew Ward, CEO UK Retail at ScottishPower, was interviewed by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce about the support the company has been offering the business community and how we move towards economic recovery together. Here is that Q&A.

What is ScottishPower doing to support businesses?

We know lockdown has been a challenging time for businesses and many will have experienced difficult changes. Weve been working hard behind the scenes to provide businesses with the best help and advice and we've offered a range of payment support options to help them get back on their feet. We've improved our online tools to give customers the flexibility to adjust their direct debit payments to a more manageable amount or take a payment holiday of up to two months if they are struggling financially.

So far, around 5,000 businesses have taken advantage of these support measures, which can be accessed by visiting www.scottishpower.co.uk or through the ScottishPower app.

We're proud to support our customers and their feedback has told us how valuable it is.

What advice do you have for other businesses?

We should be doing what we can to turn the challenges were all facing now into opportunities that will allow our businesses not just to survive in the short-term, but to succeed in the medium and longer-term. For businesses, running as efficiently as possible is key and reviewing costs has never been more important.

So, while you're planning for the future of your business, it could be the perfect time to set up greener, more energy efficient habits to help your business not only reduce costs but also your carbon emissions.

Our free online Energy Saving Toolkit developed in association with the Carbon Trust, provides helpful tips and advice to get you started. Its personalised and sector-specific, so you can see how other businesses in your industry have cut costs through things like lighting, heating and improved energy management.

How can new technology help businesses improve energy efficiency?

As we all know, Glasgow has committed to becoming the UKs first zero-carbon city and we all have a part to play in achieving that by looking at how we work, how we transport people and goods, and how we manage our necessary energy usage.

Key to this is being more informed about the energy we use, which can be helped by smart meters that give you control of your business energy. You will be able to see exactly how much energy your business is using and what that means in pounds and pence, giving you the power to make changes that will bring down both usage and costs. The roll-out programme is on hold during lockdown, but it will be restarting in due course and we'll get in touch with businesses to schedule installations in your area of the city.

Is there any financial support available for a green recovery?

Yes, we work closely with Zero Waste Scotlands Energy Efficiency Business Support Service which provides access to free energy efficiency advice, online training and interest-free loans for small businesses. The service is fully funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund. To get more information on what funding is available, you can visit www.energy.zerowastescotland.org.uk

What is the biggest opportunity for businesses?

The world has been changed forever by the coronavirus pandemic. As businesses, we need to have the confidence and the courage to adapt to todays situation. Now more than ever is the time to transform how we work and focus on delivering a green recovery that supports jobs, investment and economic growth alongside the journey to achieving net zero targets.

At ScottishPower, weve started down that path generating all our energy from renewables and investing in the smart networks and new technologies well need in the future.

We're here to help and will continue to be right alongside our business customers as they come out the other side of this crisis and move towards a better future, quicker.