The Council of Small Business Australia and not-for-profit organisation Do Something have launched a new energy efficiency resource for small businesses.

Energy Cut is a book and website that offers 20 steps for small businesses to save energy, such as better managing heating and airconditioning systems and controlling transport costs. It also outlines how the sector can secure financing for energy efficiency upgrades.

The material was researched by Do Something and Planet Ark founder Jon Dee, and the project was financed by a grant from the federal Department of Industry and Science.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation chief executive Oliver Yates said the new initiative could help improve the competitiveness of Australia’s 2.4 million small businesses.

“Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy, accounting for nearly half of private sector employment,” Mr Yates said.

“Energy Cut provides these businesses with expert knowledge on improving their energy efficiency, which has the potential to improve productivity and business performance.”

The CEFC has been providing a range of assistance for small to medium enterprises under schemes including the Energy Efficient Loan finance scheme in conjunction with the Commonwealth Bank.

“Through our work it’s clear that small businesses can benefit through lower energy costs and wider productivity gains, improving their overall competitiveness and positioning them for continued growth,” Mr Yates said.

The Energy Cut website outlines the business case for improving energy efficiency, and includes data from a study carried out by Colmar Brunton for MyAGLIQ in February 2013 that showed 62 per cent of SMEs are concerned about electricity bill costs. It also cites 2013 research by Vivid Economics that a one per cent improvement in the nation’s energy efficiency would boost the economy by up to $1.5 billion.

The site also has a bills calculator and outlines the 20 steps, starting with getting a picture of energy use and costs and developing an energy reduction plan.