Businesses Get Grants To Boost Green Activity

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are to be given the chance to apply for grants towards greening their businesses, under new measures that have been announced this week.

Wales' environment minister, Jane Davidson, hopes that these measures will help SMEs achieve the necessary accreditation to install microgeneration technology such as solar panels and heat pumps.

Through the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) small and medium sized renewable energy installation companies will be able to access interest free loans to cover the cost of gaining MCS accreditation.

Eligible companies will also be able to access the services of a development officer who will provide free and impartial advice to steer them through the accreditation process.

The programme will permit Welsh companies to benefit from the growth in the renewable industry stimulated by Feed-in Tariffs which were introduced by the UK Government in April.

Speaking at a community hall in Llanarthne, Ms Davidson, said: "Renewable energy really is the future, it causes minimal damage to the environment, will not run out and is not dictated by factors, such as oil supply, which are outside our control.

"I believe Wales should be at the forefront of the transition to a low carbon economy and want to make it as easy as possible for Welsh businesses to make the most of the opportunities associated with renewable energy.

"In order to do this renewable energy installers must be accredited to the Mircorgeneration Certification Scheme, however many tell me that the cost and complexity of this process is presenting a real barrier.

"The programme I am launching today will address both these issues and will ensure that businesses in Wales have every opportunity to reap the economic benefits associated with our move to renewable and low carbon energy solutions. "

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