Small firms offered £200K for energy efficiency
Small businesses investing in energy–efficient equipment can now borrow up to £200,000 interest–free after the Carbon Trust doubled the maximum size of its Energy–Efficiency Loans.
The increase in the potential value of the loans follows concerns that market conditions have made ambitious projects unaffordable for some businesses. The Trust has also beefed up its total loan pot by 45% to £31 million.
Under the Energy Efficiency Loan scheme, eligible firms will now be able to borrow between £5,000 and £200,000 for new or replacement equipment that is more energy–efficient.
Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 250 employees, 12 months’ trading history and a good credit rating. The size of the loan available will depend on the energy–related cost savings from the investment. Loans do not require security and must be paid back over four years. The Carbon Trust’s solutions director Hugh Jones said:
“We know small and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs) want to play their part in tackling climate change and reduce their energy costs at the same time. But tighter credit conditions are making it harder for small businesses to find alternative sources of funding.”
“Some businesses found the £100,000 limit made it hard for them to finance more ambitious projects, such as large lighting installations, boilers, or multiple equipment purchases such as variable speed drives with compressors and heat recovery equipment,” added Jones.
David Boomer, head of energy efficiency and climate change at the Institute of Directors, welcomed the “significant increase” in funding.
“This clearly underlines the Government’s commitment to supporting businesses to reduce their energy costs and associated carbon emissions,” he said.
“Even at this time of economic uncertainty it is still vital that businesses continue to look for opportunities to invest in more energy–efficient equipment and thereby reduce their carbon emissions.”
Visit the website for more information on the Carbon Trust’s Energy Efficiency Loans