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Businesses helped with heating efficency

Businesses wanting to install energy efficient boilers and heating systems are being helped to make the changes - despite the credit crunch - by the Carbon Trust.

In response to the worsening credit conditions the trust has announced it is doubling the maximum size of its interest-free Energy Efficiency loans from £100,000 to £200,000.

The overall loans pot is also being increased by 45 per cent to £31 million this year and a larger portion of projects will be eligible for funding for big projects which can prove they can deliver sizable energy savings.

It is expected that the larger loans will also lead to more applications from larger, more energy-intensive SMEs.

Hugh Jones, Solutions Director at the Carbon Trust, said: “We know that 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 in the current economic climate, the tighter credit conditions are making it harder for small businesses to find alternative sources of funding.

“We know that some companies found that the £100,000 limit made it hard for them to finance the more ambitious projects they wanted to invest in, such as boilers projects, or multiple equipment purchases such as variable speed drives with compressors and heat recovery equipment.

“£200,000 loans pave the way for companies to take on such projects and significantly reduce both their carbon emissions and their energy bills, which in turn will enable them to reduce operational costs and become more competitive.”

David Boomer, Head of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change at the Institute of Directors, said:

“This is excellent news. This significant increase in the provision of these loans by the Carbon Trust clearly underlines the Government’s commitment to supporting businesses to reduce their energy costs and associated carbon emissions.

“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.

“The Institute of Directors would strongly encourage businesses to make use of this opportunity and to work closely with the Carbon Trust to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs.”