Headlines: June 11th, 2009

Local authorities, hospitals, government departments and others will be able to get financial help to reduce their carbon emissions and cut their energy bills. A new system of energy efficiency loans will make more than fifty-one million pounds available to help the public sector take advantage of technology.

The interest free loans have been set up by the Government, in partnership with Salix Finance and the Carbon Trust. It is estimated that the loans, initially announced in the Budget, will help public sector bodies save around 14 million pounds a year in fuel bills. The money is in addition to 30 million pounds announced last year and will mean loans are available for around 80 different energy efficiency technologies, including insulation, boiler and lighting upgrades, better cooling systems and IT improvements.

The Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Joan Ruddock said: “All public sector organisations should lead by example by pioneering ways to reduce carbon emissions. I hope that schools, hospitals, and fire stations will look into projects they can undertake, and use this funding opportunity.”

The programme will be managed by Salix and the Government sees the support playing an important part in the build up to the Carbon Reduction Commitment, which begins in April 2010. The Commitment is a mandatory scheme targeting carbon dioxide emissions from large public and private sector organisations.

Tom Delay, the Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said it had already helped more than 2,000 UK public sector bodies to identify savings of 500 million pounds in energy costs and carbon emissions of more than 4.5 million tonnes since 2001. “Many organisations have already taken bold action on climate change and we hope their example inspires many more in the public sector to follow suit.”