Carbon Trust launches energy saving Green Business Fund

Small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) will be the benefactors of a £7m windfall that offers expert advice and increased opportunities to improve energy efficiency, after energy consultants the Carbon Trust launched a new Green Business Fund.

The £7m funding programme will support 1000 to 2000 SMEs across the UK in several key business areas such as energy saving training, cost saving assessments and capital investment for the installation of energy efficiency equipment. Eligible companies will have an opportunity to purchase a range of equipment to improve their heating, ventilation systems, lighting and air conditioning systems.

The energy consultants believe that the investment scheme will secure £55m in energy saving projects, which will deliver lifetime energy savings of almost £130m for participating firms.

Carbon Trust managing director Hugh Jones said: “Our experience of working with thousands of companies across the UK indicates that year-on-year savings of 20% to 30% can be delivered through action on energy efficiency. We’d encourage smaller companies to apply to make the most of the fund on offer in order to realise significant savings on their bottom line.”

The fund will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with entitled businesses able to apply for a capital contribution to cover up to 15% of an energy saving project or up to a maximum of £10,000 for an equipment replacement cost.

Energy saving opportunities

A recent wealth of evidence from industry professionals and business energy providers has highlighted the financial and environmental benefits that can be gained by companies if they exploit energy saving measures. 

In an exclusive blog for edie, the Carbon Trust’s energy consultant David Tobin claimed that an average 20% cost reduction was achievable for businesses through the implementation of energy saving opportunities identified by ESOS audits.

Last year, Minimise Group managing director Andrew Shortis told edie how SMEs can emulate big-brand sustainability ambitions through energy and water efficiencies. An Opus Energy’s Business Boost report showed that the majority of UK SMEs are keen to be supply renewable energy because of its smaller environmental impact and ability to enhance green credentials.

The launch of the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Fund comes in the same week that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced it had doubled financial lending to sustainable energy projects; with more than 400 SMEs acting as benefactors of a £1bn lending spree from the bank in 2015.

RBS’ chief executive officer of commercial and private banking Alison Rose said: “Our record £1bn of lending is a huge achievement, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to the low-carbon economy and the jobs, businesses and communities that rely on it. It also highlights British businesses’ appetite for investing in renewable energy projects.”

Financing sustainability at edie Live 2016

From specific strategies and solutions to analysis of the broader issues at play, the edie Live Leaders theatre is a must-attend for any business, small or large, seeking to finance the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable business plan.

From May 17-18, experts from leading companies and organisations including, Veolia and the National Grid will be discussing how businesses can capitalise on the value of the environment and what challenges and opportunities are in place to finance sustainability.

Find out more about edie Live 2016 and register to attend for free here.

George Ogleby

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie