Free Funding for Energy Efficiency
Theo Paphitis, best known for his appearances on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, is today calling on businesses to scrap outdated equipment and save millions on their energy bills.
In a bid to reduce the C02 emissions produced by businesses every year, Joan Ruddock MP is launching the Carbon Trust’s Big Business Refit – to coincide with Energy Saving Week – which is giving out £100m interest-free to help small and medium sized companies modernise their businesses.
According to new research released by the Carbon Trust’s, British businesses are being forced to "make do and mend" with old, inefficient equipment, costing businesses £3.3bn a year in wasted energy.
One London firm that has already taken advantage of the Big Business Refit is Stewart Company, a Croydon-based manufacturer of gardening and catering products, received £400,000 to upgrade its plastic moulding machines and are on course to savings of £120,000 annually as a result.
Hever Castle near Edenbridge in Kent, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, took out a £100,000 Carbon Trust loan in 2007 to replace their motley collection of oil-fired boilers (that dated back to the early nineteen hundreds) and liquid petroleum gas-fuelled heating systems, replacing them with an 800-kilowatt biomass boiler. As a result, the company is now saving £50,000 on their energy bills annually.
The government endorsed initiative provides businesses with expert guidance, plus financial support in the form of £100m in interest free funding, which can be paid back through the energy savings the new equipment delivers. On average, businesses individually can save £14,000 a year off their energy bills with a refit – but this could rise to £120,000 a year depending on the machinery replaced.
As part of the launch, the Carbon Trust is holding a free Big Business Refit workshop for companies in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, starting with The Stewart Company in London on 20th October. Businesses have been invited to attend the clinics in their area to learn how to save money by reducing their energy spend, how to know when old equipment becomes a burden on the bottom line, and how to replace it.
SMEs are the lifeline of the UK economy, employing over 13.5 million people, or 58% of the private sector workforce. At a time when increasingly more small businesses face cash flow pressure and are struggling with the burden of rising overheads, Carbon Trust are offering a lifeline that will help businesses weather the financial storm and put them in good stead for when recovery comes.