5. Green Initiatives & Schemes for your Business
With the downfall of one initiative, comes the incarnation of another. And the government isn't afraid to pump money into green schemes.
Even though cutbacks have been made, there are still plenty of schemes to consider.
Green Initiatives & Schemes for your Business
Due to a number of unfortunate circumstances, there has been a recent decline in government offerings in relation to green funding and grants. This can be attributed to the financial strife and the Conservative's commitment to reducing the nation's deficit. As such, there have been a series of cutbacks, although opportunities remain.
The Green Deal never really piqued the interest of the public or businesses, so there's little surprise this is no longer in existence. However, with the downfall of one initiative, comes the incarnation of another. And the government isn't afraid to pump money into green schemes. This includes the recently added:
- £3bn Investment Bank
- £2.6bn Regional Growth Fund
Despite the opportunities, there is still uncertainty in the green sector and although there are some fantastic reasons to go green, many businesses require the incentive of grants and funds to take the plunge and invest in technology.
Business grants & funding for green initiatives
Even though cutbacks have been made, there are still plenty of schemes to consider. In this section we take a closer look at the various incentives up for grabs.
The Green Deal Finance Company
The Green Deal was the Coalition's flagship energy programme back in 2010 and expected to help millions of homes and businesses sure up their energy efficiency. However, the programme wasn't as popular as expected and despite plenty of government funding, failed to really kick-start. The scheme allowed the installation of energy measures, which were paid off with the money saved on bills. However, the scheme unfortunately drew to a close in 2015 and the government hasn't indicated any fresh launch in the near future.
Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme
This initiative is run by Siemens Financial Services and allows businesses to upgrade energy efficiency without a huge upfront expense. Instead, repayments are offset by the money saved on future bills and loans start from as little as £1,000 – With no upper limit caps. There is currently £550 million invested into the Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme and it's not known yet if this will be extended when funds dry up.
ReEnergise SmartEnergy Fund
This is significantly smaller than the Siemens scheme outlined above, with only £5 million attached to the initiative. The scheme is targeted at SMEs solely, with commercial loans on offer between £25,000 and £250,000. These loans are for use on energy efficiency upgrades and renewable technology. You should be aware, there are no fixed interest rates. Instead, these will fluctuate from case-to-case, depending on factors such as length of the borrowing period.
The Grants for Business Investment Scheme
Those involved in the manufacturing of offshore wind farms can apply for grants in certain areas of England. A grant would be applied in conjunction with landlords or a port and would often be accepted as a way to improve the local labour market.
Energy Entrepreneurs Fund
This scheme is targeted to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, with incentives for the production of low carbon technologies. Inventors and businesses would stand to receive up to £1m towards their project and will also receive expert advice on bringing the product to market.
Plug-in Car Grant
Although not related to bettering your building's efficiency, the Plug-in Car grant should be considered by businesses. There's the potential to receive up to £5,000 towards the cost of a low emission vehicle, although certain eligibility criteria will apply.
Plug-in Van Grant
Similarly to the grant above, the Plug-in Van grant offers a maximum of £8,000 towards the cost of a low emission van. This is available from the government and granted to both businesses and private consumers.
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