Green cash up for grabs

Posted on 7 Jul 2009 by The Manufacturer

The Carbon Trust has doubled the ceiling on its unsecured interest-free loan offer, available to SMEs, to £400k.

The non-profit independent company, set up by government in 2001, has over £100m available to lend over the next two years, £84m of which was provided to it in this year’s budget as part of government’s drive towards a low-carbon economy.

Any business that wants to use the cash to lower their carbon footprint can apply for a slice of the pie and, in addition to raising the upper maximum, the Carbon Trust has reduced the lower limit firms can borrow from £5,000 to £3,000.

“Small and medium businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and key to the move to the low carbon world,” said Tom Delay, Carbon Trust chief executive. “We are extending a helping hand to them by offering more than £100m in interest-free, unsecured loans at a time when bank funding is hard to come by.

“Our zero per cent loan offer is as close to free money as a business can get, and is flexible enough to help almost any small or medium business.”

Firms eligible for a loan, those the Carbon Trust class as SMEs, are ones with less than 250 employees, a turnover of up to €50m (£42m) and an annual electricity spend of up to £500,000. All firms in Northern Ireland and Wales are eligible though, regardless of these factors.

Reiterating government’s intentions to help businesses play their part in the shift to low carbon, Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt. “Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our planet so it’s vital that everyone plays their part. Taking action offers a huge opportunity for businesses to save money on their energy bills as well as reducing emissions and driving the move to a low carbon economy.”