Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur and star of TV’s Dragon’s Den, has launched the Carbon Trust’s Big Business Refit campaign, which could save UK SMEs £40million.
A Carbon Trust survey of 1,500 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) has shown that over half (52%) ‘make do and mend’ with old, inefficient equipment as they don’t have the cash to upgrade, and that nearly half (46%) were unaware that replacing old equipment can cut energy costs. The survey also showed that 57% have made staff cuts to save cash.
The Carbon Trust aims to reverse this trend with its Big Business Refit scheme which helps businesses to scrap their old power-guzzling equipment and replace it with new, more energy efficient and cheaper to run equipment. It provides expert guidance and loans of between £3,000 and £400,000 to replace equipment, reduce energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions. As well as being interest-free and unsecured, the loans are designed to be paid back through the energy savings the new equipment delivers.
Yorkshire-based Roberts Mart & Co Ltd. has already benefitted from taking Carbon Trust loans. Replacing old equipment has led to massive energy savings, as Sales Director, Ben Roberts, explains:
“We’ve taken advantage of two Carbon Trust loans, totalling over £300,000, to replace printing press drying systems, a boiler and lighting. As a result, we’re saving around £130,000 a year on our energy bills, plus around 900 tonnes of CO2. The Carbon Trust loans scheme has been a simple and effective way for us to modernise our business, and reduce costs in the recession.”
Theo Paphitis joined the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in supporting the scheme, urging businesses to get involved:
"I’m not your normal green campaigner. First and foremost I’m a businessman... I’m for practical incentives that help businesses survive, though. And interest-free loans of between £3,000 and £400,000 to replace businesses old machines – it’s what I call a no-brainer – an open goal."
For more information and to apply, click here.
Posted under General Interest on 10 September 2009