Carbon Trust ‘Green Business Fund’

The Carbon Trust ‘Green Business Fund’

Is your energy efficiency project eligible for a non-repayable grant of £750 to £10,000?

If you’ve got a project that can reduce the energy that your company uses then it may be eligible for a contribution of £750 to £10,000 towards the capital costs and it doesn’t have to be repaid.

We’ve summarized the requirements below:

Who can apply?

To be eligible your business must meet at least two of the following conditions;

  1. No more than 250 employees;
  2. Annual turnover not in excess of £25.9m; or
  3. Annual balance sheet not in excess of £12.9m

In addition, not more than 25% of the business must be owned by an entity that does not meet these criteria. Franchises are also eligible providing they have a different registered company number and are a separate legal entity to their managing partnership.

How much money can I get?

The fund will provide a minimum of £750 and a maximum of £10,000 or 30% of the total eligible capital costs of the project, whichever comes first.

What types of project are eligible?

Most projects can be considered for support if they reduce consumption of fossil fuel energy. Case studies on the Carbon Trust website include LED lights, HVAC projects, new beer coolers, heating controls, compressed air upgrades and energy monitoring systems.

Your project must involve replacing equipment you currently own with energy efficient equipment where the savings can be clearly defined.

Projects where the payback period on energy savings is within 5 years are preferred. Where energy savings will pay back in over 5 years, the funding will be restricted to the contribution on the first five years’ worth of energy savings.

CBEN can confirm with the Carbon Trust that your project is eligible for funding.

Can I use my own suppliers and installers?

To obtain funding, the equipment must be purchased from a Carbon Trust Green Business Directory registered supplier or BESA supplier.

You can use your own contractor to install the equipment but this must be agreed with the Carbon Trust as part of the application process.

What steps do I need to take now?

The fund applies to projects that are ‘investor ready’. This means that the following steps must be complete before you apply for funding:

  1. The energy savings must be assessed and verified. CBEN can help with this.
  2. The specification for the work must be written and ready to send to suppliers and installers. CBEN can help with this.
  3. A timetable for implementation is agreed.
  4. The funding for the entire project must be agreed and available.

Once these steps are complete the on-line application process involves the following steps;

  1. Provide details of your organisation.
  2. Provide details of the project.
  3. Provide an agreed price for the entire project.
  4. Submit details of the accredited suppliers that will be used.
  5. Submit a detailed assessment of the energy savings that will be achieved.
  6. Provide quotes from accredited suppliers and your preferred installers.
  7. Submit details of your capital contribution to the project.
  8. Provide the Carbon Trust with your bank details
  9. Provide any additional information required by the Carbon Trust.

Applicants will receive a response from the Carbon Trust within 10 working days. If successful, the project must be completed within three months of the approval date.

The Carbon Trust contribution will be paid on completion and commissioning of the project. Applicants must cover the full capital cost and then claim their grant.

Contact CBEN to arrange a no obligation consultation about your project. CBEN can guide you through the application process and manage the project installation.

Contact us on 01228 549602 or via our website enquiry form.

New generation night storage heaters

Anyone with old night storage heaters will know how quickly they can discharge their heat, leaving you feeling cold in the afternoon. A solution may be in the offing.

A company called Vcharge, now owned by OVO, have developed a way of controlling heat output to keep buildings at a comfortable and constant temperature and reduce overall energy consumption. See the link below. This technology has been rolled out in America and a small trial in the UK. OVO are promising to roll out in the rest of the UK in due course.

Three hotels take part in trial project

Three Cumbrian hotels have taken part in a project run by CBEN to compare their energy consumption and tariffs. The project began with current Green at Heart member The Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite, who were concerned about high energy tariff charges.

Fellow Lake District hotels Ravenstone Lodge, Bassenthwaite and The Edwardene Hotel, Keswick joined in the project to compare energy consumption as all three hotels are of a similar size.

The project was designed to highlight the differences that energy suppliers charge businesses and the influence that business owners have on the rates that they pay. Detailed energy profiles were created for each hotel based on electricity consumption monitored during the project and compared between the participants.

Althought The Edwardene is using slightly less energy overall and has a much smaller baseload than The Cottage in the Wood and Ravenstone Lodge it is still paying the same tariff as The Cottage in the Wood, which actually had the highest consumption. However, The Edwardene has no daily standing charge to pay, compared to the other two hotels which are paying 22.5p and 37p per day. Tariffs between The Edwardene and The Cottage in the Wood are similar; both paying 11p per unit but Ravenstone Lodge is paying nearly 15p per unit.

This indicates that consumption is not necessarily linked to the tariff provided by energy suppliers and is always worth checking and negotiating before signing up to lengthy contracts.

New Service Packages

CBEN have streamlined their services to offer greater value for money to clients. Green at Heart members are now being given an opportunity to choose their support package, from Standard, Enhanced and Advanced based on their level of need for assistance.

The packages offer an increasing level of on-site support as well as update phone calls, additional monitoring of resources and reporting provided by CBEN in order to meet their Action Plan goals.

Many businesses are already seeking higher levels of support from the CBEN team in order to work on projects and verify savings made from previous environmental improvements.

If your business could benefit from some additional support please get in touch to see how we can help.

CBEN team begins work at Eden Brow

CBEN team begins work at Eden Brow on the Settle to Carlisle Railway. Working with Story Contracting Ltd and Network Rail, CBEN will be acting as Environmental Advisor on the project.

The reconstruction of the railway section which collapsed during the December 2015 floods has been restored and was reopened with an appearance by The Flying Scotsman steam locomotive on 31st March 2017. The following remediation work of the riverbank is due to begin in May and will continue for six months.

This is an exciting project for CBEN which takes us in a new direction. CBEN Partner Philip Wanless has 25 years’ experience in the construction industry it is a change to use some existing knowledge combined with the teams combined experience in auditing and environmental consultancy.

More updates on this project will follow as work continues on site in the coming months.

Winter 2016-2017 Green at Heart Award winners

Hunter Hall School

Gold Award

Hunter Hall School works hard to minimise its environmental footprint and has implemented some simple but effective measures to achieve this. They have a planned approach to objectives & targets and work hard to deliver these.


Cedar Manor Hotel

Gold Award

Ongoing monitoring of targets measurable reductions set for next 12 months. They are an excellent Green at Heart member with systems appropriate to business.


Craig Manor Hotel

Bronze Award

A newcomer to Green at Heart, The management want to implement Green at Heart to drive business forward with cost savings.


Daffodil Hotel

Gold Award

Progress made since last audit on upgrading lighting, drainage infrastructure, new spa boilers, extending soakaways and a heat exchanger in the pool.


Windermere Lakes Cruises Ltd

Gold Award

They were able to test emergency procedures during Dec 15 floods. Reaction time was within the one hour response time. They have upgraded three lighting sensors in toilets. All electric self-drive boats in place now, diesel ones have all been replaced.


Field Studies Council Castle Head

Gold Award

The FSC Castle Head are strong supporters of environmental improvement and have regularly put in place initiatives and procedures designed to reduce the impact of the business.


MTP Media Ltd

Silver Award

The Business has a good understanding of factors affecting their environmental performance. Several samples of replacement LED strip lights have been purchased to assess the appropriate colour temperature with regard to the printing process.


Out of Eden Ltd

Gold Award

Out of Eden’s commitment to the environment and sustainability is exemplary. Recent changes to the audit process for Green at Heart should assist in formalising the objectives and targets and the process of measurement and assessment.


Badger Press Ltd

Gold Award

This is a small very busy printing business and they are committed to managing their responsibilities with regard to environmental impact. With a strong emphasis on recycling paper, plastics, metals and Inks.


ACTion with Communities in Cumbria

Gold Award

ACT and their Board of Trustees are strong supporters of the Green at Heart environmental awards scheme and have been for a number of years. A number of initiatives have been put in place to minimise travel for their clients.


Inspira Ltd

Gold Award

Inspira have made considerable improvements to their environmental impact, primarily by more than halving the amount of staff travel. Their staff are aware of the need to minimise travel and are encouraged to use skype where appropriate. IT equipment is provided for this purpose.

Green at Heart auditing successes

We’re well into the busy period for auditing members of Green at Heart, our environmental assessment scheme. We’re pleased to say that E&M Electrical Services (Northern) Ltd, Glaramara outdoor activity centre and Blencathra Field Studies Centre have all retained their Gold awards for 2017. Well done to all of them. Especially nice to do these audits when the weather was so good and Cumbria looked its best.




have made several environmental gains recently and auditing them is always a pleasure. The buildings are now almost entirely lit by LED lights.  although their solar thermal array isn’t producing a lot of hot water at this time of year it’s done well over the year and they’re very happy about the energy it has already saved them. With another 15+ years of useful life, its been a very good investment. CBEN are working with them to complete some energy mapping to see how they can save energy in the kitchen and we’re investigating the potential to use an air source heat pump to extract warm air from the kitchen and use it to heat the bar area.




has committed to reducing electricity consumption by 10% in 2017, measured against their 2015 consumption. They’ll use a ground mounted PV array to help with this. They’ll also be working to cut CO2 emissions by 5% compared to their 2014 base line. Auditing an organisation with lots of exciting ideas for the future is always satisfying and Blencathra are never short of plans.

If you would like to know more about the Green at Heart members scheme and have the environmental impact of your business audited, please feel free to contact us on 0122 549 602 to arrange an initial chat and a visit. Or visit the Green at Heart page on this website.

EU Energy Labelling scheme abandoned

The EU Commission has abandoned plans to place energy efficiency labels on household items such as hair dryers, toasters and kettles. The plans were originally introduced to complement the Eco-Design Directive, which has been one of the most successful EU interventions in the energy efficiency drive, delivering at least 50% of the EU 2020 energy savings target. If the plans had been implemented, they would have reduced energy consumption by small household equipment such as kettles and toasters by 24% and 17% respectively. This is a backward step by the EU.

Funding for SME’s: The Green Business Fund

Green Business Fund

Funding is the most common barrier to implementing energy efficiency projects. If this sounds familiar, take a look at the Green Business Fund . It’s now offering to fund up to 30% of the total project cost or £10,000 for energy efficient equipment upgrades and refurbishments and most projects that deliver energy savings will be considered under the scheme.

Free funding

This offer is open to SMEs in England, Scotland and Wales but is time limited, so act quickly. The capital contribution does not have to be repaid but all technology installed has to be sourced from a supplier currently listed in the Green Business Directory. Suitable projects would could also be considered for tax relief using the Annual Investment Scheme and Enhanced Capital Allowance Heat scheme.

The fund is supported by the Carbon Trust. If you have a project that you think could be supported by this fund, please contact CBEN for more details. We will tell you if the project meets the fund requirements, check the potential savings and advise you on how to prepare your application forms.

Find us on Facebook

We have just launched a brand new Facebook page:

Please visit our page and give us a Like so that you can follow what we’re up to!

If you’re feeling really generous, share it with your friends and colleagues too, as it might be of interest to them.

The page will be used to share information and updates about what we are up to as a business, as well as some of the lighter side of life at CBEN.

We will also share any nice photographs we acquire through the course of our work.

Hope to see you over there soon.