Carbon Trust Doubles Energy Efficiency Loans

U.K.-based Carbon Trust has doubled the size of loans available to small and medium sized businesses for upgrading to energy efficient equipment and also doubled its grants for research into technology that can cut carbon emissions.

The Energy Efficiency loans have been upped from £100,000 to a maximum of £200,000. The loans go toward companies that want to replace equipment with more energy efficient versions, including lighting, boilers and heat recovery systems. The interest free, unsecured loans can be paid back over a maximum of four years. Businesses in Northern Ireland are eligible for even larger loans; they can receive up to £400,000 for upgrades.

Coinciding with the increase in individual loans, Carbon Trust has upped the pot available for loans by 45 percent, from £21.5 million to £31 million.

Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the government in 2001, said the increase was made in response to difficult market conditions and to help companies implement changes more quickly and on larger scales. The higher loans are also designed to attract more energy-intensive small and medium business that would need to spend more to upgrade their operations.

Companies developing carbon-cutting technologies can also receive a larger boost from Carbon Trust, which has also doubled the size of its Applied Research grants. Increased from £250,000 to £500,000, the grants go towards projects that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions in the U.K.

Since 2001, £18.5 million in Applied Research grants have been distributed to 145 projects. To date, 95 projects have been completed, and more than 65 of those have filed patents, secured additional funding or made commercial sales. Carbon Trust recently opened up its latest search for Applied Research projects.

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