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.

Tesla Power Wall battery for solar PV systems

A big drawback with installing solar PV systems to generate electricity is the limited ability to store surplus energy for use at a later data. Battery technology is currently a hot bed of development and Tesla have beaten most competitors to the market with the launch last year of the Tesla Power Wall battery. Designed to work directly with solar PV systems, each unit can store up to 14 kWh of surplus electricity and costs approximately £6,500 to install. A standard 3 bedroom house with one Power Wall unit linked to a 4 kW solar PV array would generate and store enough electricity for 75% of daily demand. A 10 kWp and two Power Walls would make the house completely independent of mains electricity. See more details at:


The Heat Network Regulations 2014

The Heat Network Regulations 2014 apply to all landlords who generate energy for heating, cooling or hot  water and then make this available to tenants at a cost via a district heating system or a communal energy system. They apply to business and domestic landlords.

Under the Regulations, landlords must provide details of all eligible systems to the National Measurement & Regulation Office and install additional meters where appropriate. The deadline for submitting the network information has passed (31/12/2015) and organisations or individuals who have still submitted the data risk a £5,000 fine.

These Regulations have slipped past many organisations, who are now having to catch up quickly. If you think they apply to you, give us a ring on 01228 549602 to see how we can help you.

Compressed Air


Compressed air can be used in many industrial settings from pneumatic equipment to air brakes and even cleaning down work stations at the end of a day (not advisable!).

Compressed air is considerably more expensive that other utilities and should be used only when needed for a designed purpose. Only 10% of compressed air is used for useful purposes, the rest is wasted heat or leaks.

Energy costs typically account for 75% of the annual running costs of a compressed air system.

A 30% leakage rate is common.

Rotary screw compressors are the most likely type to be found in small to medium sized businesses and can range from 2 – 250kW.

Reciprocating piston compressors are more likely to be used for small industrial processes or DIY. Most units would be < 3kW.

Use of compressed air is governed by numerous pieces of legislation but most notably the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and Pressure System Safety Regulations (2000) as well as other UK Directives.

Practical Tips

  • Walk through your factory and identify all compressed air uses and, if possible, the flow and pressure requirements of each.
  • Eliminate any inappropriate uses of compressed air such as cleaning work surfaces.
  • Determine the cost of compressed air for your factory by periodically monitoring the compressor operating hours and load cycle.
  • All equipment in the compressed air system should be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Set a reasonable target for cost-effective leak reduction – up to 10% of total system flow is typical for industrial applications.
  • Audit your compressed air system to establish the actual leak rate and determine the true costs of this leakage.
  • Repair all leaks where this can be done cost effectively – very small leaks can be difficult to repair – and re-asses your compressed air system supply. If your system had a high leakage rate you may be able to downsize your system.
  • Most systems operate at 6-7 Bar, between 90-100 psi and leaks increase the pressure that the system has to provide to deliver this pressure at the point-of-use.
  • A rule of thumb is that every 2psi increase in operating pressure requires an additional 1% in operating costs of energy.
  • Air flow to unused equipment should be shut-off as far back in the system as possible.
  • Reduce the distance the air travels through the distribution system.
  • Check with the compressor supplier for performance specifications at different discharge pressures.

(Source: BCAS)

A compressed air system is expensive to run and requires careful maintenance to operate at its highest efficiency. If you have not had your system audited for a while or would simply like to know how efficiently it is working why not give The CBEN Partnership a ring on 01228 549602 to see how we can help you