Headlines: July 3rd, 2009

Councils and other public bodies are being reminded that the deadline to apply for the first round of interest free loans for energy saving schemes is just two weeks away. The first call for applications closes on July 17th. Other calls will follow until all the 51.5 million pounds available has been allocated.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is providing the loans in partnership with Salix Finance and the Carbon Trust. It is estimated that as well as cutting energy bills the loans will help to reduce CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes. They will complement the existing match funding programme offered by Salix Finance which currently has about 90 million pounds of funding operating with 128 public sector clients.

The new loans can be used for the fill cost of any scheme that meets criteria relating to energy efficiency and reduced costs. They are interest free and repayable in eight equal installments over four years with the first payment due in March 2011. The Department says there has already been keen interest from the public sector with legislation such as the Climate Change Act, the carbon reduction programme and the 2010 Kyoto agreement targets putting pressure on public bodies to reduce their carbon footprints.

Sustainability targets are incorporated into performance agreements and the Department says the loan scheme will enable public bodies to show their commitment to energy efficiency and to lead by example. More information on the application process is available from the Salix Finance website http://www.salixfinance.co.uk/loans.html