Low-carbon finance scheme set up to facilitate ‘green growth’

The Carbon Trust and Siemens are to provide finance worth up to £550m over the next three years for UK businesses wishing to invest in green equipment.

The low-carbon finance scheme is designed to enable UK businesses to invest in cost-effective energy-efficiency equipment or other low-carbon technologies, such as new efficient lighting and biomass heating.

Businesses will be able to apply for new finance from the scheme from 4 April 2011.

Siemens Financial Services in the UK will provide the financial backing and manage the provision of funding, and the Carbon Trust will assess the carbon, energy and cost savings of any application.

‘Driving green growth in the UK is key to our economic recovery,’ said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust. ‘A missing ingredient at present is access to affordable finance to enable business to make green investments. This new major finance facility will improve business competitiveness, cut carbon and boost green growth.’

‘A green growth strategy can only work if it is backed by green finance,’ added John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace. ‘Deals such as this, alongside the development of a green infrastructure bank, could be a tipping point that the UK economy needs to get out of the current doldrums.’

The Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services have also agreed to finance a new commercial venture that will increase the take-up of energy-efficiency projects.

This venture will offer procurement support to businesses wishing to purchase energy-efficiency equipment at scale from a network of accredited suppliers and will be launched later this year.