The Carbon Trust is marking 15 years of interest-free loans for Welsh businesses by changing its loan requirements to reflect national progress on climate change.
The Carbon Trust has updated the terms of its interest-free loans scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Wales, which is designed to assist with investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
Businesses can still apply for interest-free, unsecured loans of between £3,000 and £200,000, but with the new requirement that one tonne of CO2 is saved for each £1,000 borrowed. This has been reduced from the previous threshold of 1.5 tonnes of CO2.
The change reflects the considerable progress the nation has made in taking action on climate change in the 15 years since June 2003, when the first loans were made under the scheme.
The carbon emissions from each unit of grid electricity in the UK almost halved between 2012 and 2016 and continued to drop steeply in 2017. As such, many energy saving projects now result in lower emissions savings than had previously been the case.
Over £19 million of interest-free loans have been made to businesses in Wales through the Carbon Trust’s interest-free loans scheme to date, supporting almost 700 projects and saving businesses over £9 million a year on their energy costs.
David Reilly, Director of Cities & Regions at the Carbon Trust, said: “Over the past 15 years, we have helped hundreds of Welsh businesses to save money on their energy bills and become more resource efficient, at the same time as helping to achieve national ambitions on sustainable development and creating a better Wales for future generations. By making these changes we want to help hundreds more businesses to do the same.”
For an SME to be eligible for an interest-free loan from the Carbon Trust they must replace existing equipment, resulting in savings being made on grid electricity and on-site fossil fuel use.
A wide variety of projects are acceptable, including building improvements such as insulation, heating and lighting; upgrading industrial process technologies; and investing in renewable energy.
The interest-free loans are designed so that, in most cases, the monthly energy cost savings to your business should exceed the monthly repayments. Loans are repayable over 1 to 4 years in line with expected project payback periods.
Multiple loans are available up to the maximum loan amount.
With its headquarters in London, the Carbon Trust has a global team of over 30 nationalities based across five continents.
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