Theo Paphitis backs interest-free green loans

"I’m not your normal green campaigner. First and foremost I’m a businessman. I’m for practical incentives that help businesses survive.”

We’re not sure that’s the quote The Carbon Trust had in mind when it asked Dragon Theo Paphitis to support its campaign for companies to update their old equipment with greener, more efficient replacements.

Indeed, you sense this dragon’s ears probably didn’t prick attentively until the prospect of interest-free loans of up to £400,000 was thrown into the equation.

Result: one dragon who’s suddenly very much ‘in’: “It’s what I call a no-brainer – an open goal."    

By the look of it, it’s another shrewd decision.  The Carbon Trust’s ‘The Big Business Refit’, aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses “cut costs, go green and be more profitable” seems to make perfect business sense.

The older your equipment is, the greater its appetite for energy, and the more of your money it’s wasting. By scrapping old equipment and updating to new energy efficient models, The Carbon Trust claims most businesses can save around £14,000 per year on energy bills. 

Here’s how it works:

1. You scour your business for that old power guzzling equipment and machinery – from core factory machinery, past-it boilers, clapped-out cranes, outdated ovens, or dusty old air-conditioning units.

2. An energy consultant will help you identify your ageing equipment and explain how to go about replacing it.

3. Get unsecured interest-free funding from the Carbon Trust for between £3,000 and £400,000.

4. Use that cash to get rid of your old, energy guzzling equipment, and machinery and switch to state-of-the art environmentally friendly models.

5. Watch your energy bills drop and your business efficiency rise thanks to your new kit. Pay the loan back from the savings you make, then pump the continuing savings back into the business.

Roberts Mart, a Yorkshire-based printer, has taken two Carbon Trust loans, totalling over £300,000 for new printing equipment and lighting, and now saves around £130,000 a year on energy bills.

The government has committed £100m of funding for the scheme on a first come, first served basis.

Companies must employ fewer than 250 people and typically use more than 6,000MWh of electricity (approximately £500,000's worth) each year.

For more info or to apply, call 01865 885879, or visit Carbon Trust Loans to find out more about your eligibility for a loan. You’ll get expert advice and all the details you need to apply for the interest free funding.

And, according to the site, you could have a cheque in less than two weeks!

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