News

March 15, 2011 - Anonymous

£550 million lending scheme launched to help firms go green

Efficient lighting, low-carbon heating and green equipment are now within the reach of small businesses, following the launch of a £550 million lending scheme by the Carbon Trust and technology firm Siemens.

From 4 April, businesses can apply for loans provided by Siemens Financial Services (SFS) for eco-friendly equipment via their equipment suppliers or the Carbon Trust.

The Carbon Trust will check applications for the carbon, energy and cost savings of the purchase – with the result that the loan should pay for itself.

“Driving green growth in the UK is key to our economic recovery,” said Carbon Trust chief executive, Tom Delay. “A missing ingredient at present is access to affordable finance to enable business to make green investments. This new major finance facility will improve business competitiveness, cut carbon and boost green growth.”

Loan amounts will range from a £1,000 minimum to several million pounds, and will extend from one to seven years. From previous experience, SFS estimate that small-business loans will average around £30,000 per customer. Interest rates will be at commercial levels.

From 28 March, the Carbon Trust’s long-standing interest-free loan scheme for small firms will come to an end. However, the new “Green Deal”, currently going through Parliament is expected to provide loans for energy-efficiency improvements to the buildings and energy supplies of small firms and domestic customers.