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Crunchtime - Firms urged to bite into green funds

The Carbon Trust is relaxing its rules for loans on energy efficiency improvements and has increased funds to help firms struggling for resources during the credit crunch.
The government-funded body is doubling the maximum size of its interest-free energy efficiency loans from £100,000 to £200,000.

The Carbon Trust is increasing its overall loans pot by 45% to £31m and will make more projects eligible for funding for big projects which can prove they are able to make substantial energy savings.

The Carbon Trust's interest free loans are unsecured and repayable over a period of up to four years.

The pressure to become more energy efficient has increased with the recent introduction of Energy Performance Certificates. Failure to have an EPC for a commercial property can result in a firm paying a £5,000 fine.

Gordon Brown's aim to reach the EU-imposed target of producing 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020, requires £100bn of private investment which is being encouraged with government grants.

The government's Low Carbon Building Programme provides grants for the installation of green friendly renewable energy products in businesses as well as public sector buildings and households.

Firms can also take advantage of the ECA scheme for energy-saving technologies which encourages businesses to invest in energy-saving plant or machinery specified on the Energy Technology List(ETL), managed by the Carbon Trust.

The ECA scheme allows businesses to write off the whole of the capital cost of their investment in green friendly technologies against their taxable profits.
30 September 2008

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