SMEs make up over 99% of all businesses and account for approximately 13% of global final energy consumption, meaning that their contribution to the energy efficiency improvement targets of European Union is crucial. It has been found that energy efficiency is not a high priority for SMEs due to high investment costs, lack of profitability, lack of awareness and lack in time and resources to work. There are many case studies of successful implementation of measures reducing the energy footprint of SMEs from different sectors showing that the barriers to energy efficiency improvement could be overcome. Additionally, there are several measures related to heating, cooling, lighting, production equipment, process design and energy supply that could be implemented to reduce the energy footprint of businesses. Many of these measures are simple, require zero or low capital cost and would have other benefits, such as personnel satisfaction and productivity improvement. However, there are step changes related to processes design and energy supply that could be implemented, resulting to significant energy and carbon footprint reduction. These changes require considerable investments from the SMEs, but they have relatively small payback period due to the energy and cost savings.

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