Introduction to the different finance options available
There are several different routes to finding financial assistance and funding for energy efficiency improvements to your building. These range from interest free loans, to grants given by green funding initiatives or suppliers and Government supported initiatives that would help you save money via tax relief or via your suppliers.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ERDF is a European Union fund that supports small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to save energy and help stimulate the creation of a low carbon economy. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government are responsible for the delivery of the ERDF in England. Local projects are developed by a wide range of partners from across the public and private sectors, including Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities, universities, research institutions, business groups and stakeholders from the voluntary and community sector.
There are currently numerous projects and schemes around the country and businesses can apply to these schemes for financial assistance and grants to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
The ERDF funding scheme is coming to an end, but SME’s can still apply to existing schemes. The UK government are planning to replace the current ERDF funding scheme with their own schemes.
A list of local ERDF schemes that provide both advice and grants can be found here.
Several banks have dedicated loans for energy efficiency improvements that can cover the upfront costs of installation, and savings can often exceed repayments, creating a positive cash flow. Works can be funded by standard bank loans or through these dedicated green finance loans.
Click on the links to find out more about banks offering green finance;
There are a number of other financial incentives such as tax relief, product discounts from suppliers, Government initiatives and energy supplier feed-in tariff or export tariffs.
The Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has a website page that provides a finance and support for your business search tool, where you can search for the item you need support with and can select the type of financial support you require.
You may be able to claim for some of your upgrades via your capital allowances.
Grants and other loans
Some business and local enterprises provide grants to encourage and improve energy efficiency.
The Carbon Trust
The carbon trust is an expert partner for businesses, governments and organisations helping them in realising ambitious plans for sustainable, low carbon future. The Trust is currently offering interest-free loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Wales. For loans in Wales visit Carbon Trust.
The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund currently offers a contribution of 30% of the project cost, up to a max of £10,000 for small and medium size businesses. This can be used for the purchase of energy saving equipment such as new lighting, heating, or a controls system. The minimum total size of the project must be £2,500 with a simple payback of under five years, and equipment should be purchased from a Green Business Directory supplier or a BESA Supplier, to ensure that your supplier is properly accredited.
Zero Waste Scotland Limited
Zero Waste Scotland is an organisation funded by Scottish Government (via the ERDF) that offers SMEs in Scotland a loan to help install eligible measures and you will receive cashback on completion of your project. For loans in Scotland visit Zero Waste Scotland.
The Screwfix foundation
The Screwfix foundation is a registered charity to support projects that relate to the repair, maintenance, improvement or construction of homes, community buildings and other buildings to those in need. It offers funding of up to £5000 to registered Charities or not-for-profit organisations. Visit Screwfix foundation.