The Carbon Trust created the Green Business Fund with the aim of helping up to 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve their energy efficiency.
More efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment can lead to significant savings, and the fund can help with up to 30% of the cost of installation. The emphasis is on high quality solutions that cut costs and energy consumption, with a maximum of £10,000 awarded to any single project.
The minimum award is £750 and applications are usually only successful if a company can show the cost of the project will be offset by the energy savings within five years. Examples of past projects include a company that received £2,700 to help fund a new set of heating controls, which delivered annual savings of around £4,900 on the gas bill.
Is Other Help Available?
Green Business Fund payments are awarded as a rebate after an installation project is completed, although applications must be approved before work gets underway. Before reaching that stage, businesses can take advantage of guidance in various forms, including:
- Energy Opportunity Assessments
To help develop a strong business case for investment in more efficient equipment, the Carbon Trust assesses organisations to find energy-saving possibilities. For those spending over £50,000 per year on energy, a ‘virtual energy manager’ is also available to help with the creation of management policies and finding ways to engage staff. The Carbon Trust can visit a site to conduct assessments, although support is also available over telephone and email.
- Implementation Advice
Businesses with a specific project in mind can benefit from up to five days of support from a Carbon Trust consultant, which includes a feasibility check and the writing of performance specifications. Where an energy survey has identified opportunities to save, implementation advice can help turn this into a tender and improve the likelihood of receiving up to £10,000 in funding.
- Workshops and Webinars
Companies with fewer than 50 employees can register for workshops designed to help identify energy saving possibilities on the Carbon Trust website. A series of webinars delivered by the organisation’s technical experts is also available.
How Do I Apply?
The Green Business Fund is available to SMEs, schools and charities in England, Scotland and Wales. A business is typically defined as an SME if it employs fewer than 250 people, although the Carbon Trust also uses some financial criteria, which is published on its website.
To be eligible, a project must use an approved supplier or manufacturer such as Daikin – an air conditioning manufacturer with which 361 Degrees has a close working relationship. Applications are submitted online and include quotes, basic details of the company and the project, and various pieces of supporting information.
The Carbon Trust aims to review the details within 10 days, and once terms and conditions are signed a business is expected to complete the installation work and claim their rebate within three months.
Green Business Fund payments can’t be awarded retrospectively, so planning is essential. While an application must come from the end user, we work with manufacturers such as Daikin to improve your chances of receiving funding and can help with submissions, so click here to discuss your installation project with our expert team.