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Carbon Trust Interest Free Loans

21 July 2011

Carbon Trust Interest Free Loans



English and Scottish farmers and growers can apply for unsecured, interest free loans of between £3,000 and £20,000, to help them upgrade to more energy-efficient equipment as a new part of the Carbon Trust’s ‘Big Business Refit’ scheme.

The loans, provided over one to four years, are designed to pay for themselves through direct energy savings. Once repaid, farmers will benefit from savings on their energy costs, as well as a reduced carbon footprint.

This scheme started on 1 February and is available to English farmers and growers on a first come first served basis, The Carbon Trust expects to distribute around £12 million of funding, saving farmers and growers £4 million per year in energy costs.

Examples of energy efficiency upgrades which the Carbon Trust loans will fund are:

  • Thermal screens, used in greenhouse horticulture, typically cost up to £20,000, and can save over £10,000 / 100 tonnes of CO2 annually.
  • Milk cooling accounts for one third of the energy consumption of dairy farms. New systems cost £3,000, and save up to £1,000 / 6 tonnes of CO2 a year.
  • Insulation used in field horticulture crop stores, typically costs around £17,000, and saves up to £10,000 / 50 tonnes of CO2 a year.
  • Upgrading heating and ventilation controls, in livestock farms, typically costs £3,000, and saves over £4,000 / 23 tonnes of CO2 a year.
  • Grain drying humidity controls, used in arable farming, typically costs £3,000, and saves around £1,500 / 10 tonnes of CO2 a year.

This is a win win opportunity for levy payers - helps reduce farm business costs and its carbon footprint as well as helping to meet the carbon reduction aims laid out the Government's Low Carbon Transition Plan.

The Carbon Trust's Big Business Refit is a nationwide campaign encouraging British businesses to replace old, energy intensive equipment which wastes £3.3 billion a year. This new funding has been provided to help the farming businesses to replace old, energy intensive equipment. The NFU has worked with the Carbon Trust and Defra to make English farm businesses eligible for this campaign. The money has been made available from a £100 million Carbon Trust fund ring-fenced by the Treasury until the end of March 2011.

More information and eligibility details and online application is available from the Carbon Trust.