Grants of between £500 and £1000 are being made available to any Somerset businesses wishing to introduce and implement carbon reduction measures to their business.
This grant scheme was due to be launched in March 2020 but was postponed due to the initial Coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will now commence in October 2020 and applications will be accepted until March 31 2021.
The applicant needs to meet a few conditions in order to apply.
About the business:
- The scheme is open to bona-fide small, medium and large business including unincorporated businesses (partnerships, societies, clubs, sole traders etc.)
- Any business based within the administrative county of Somerset may apply (this does not include the administrative areas of North Somerset or Bath and North-East Somerset)
- Please note that if the grant is to be used to make alterations to premises or to purchase equipment for use in premises, then those premises must be registered with the local authority for Business Rates. The grant cannot be used to make improvements to domestic dwellings.
About the grant:
- Grants of between £500 and £1000 are available
- The grant must be ‘match funded’ by the business applying for the grant on a 50:50 basis. This means for example that the cost for a £1000 project would be met by a contribution from the business of £500 and a grant of £500.
- The minimum grant that can be applied for is £500. This means that the minimum cost of a project must be £1000.
- We will consider projects with an overall cost of more than £2000, but the grant will not exceed £1000.
- The application may be for a single action/ activity or a range of actions/activities.
- 50% of the value of the receipt(s) / invoice(s) will be covered by the grant to a total grant value of £1000.
- For the purpose of the grant, invoice values and receipts will be calculated net of VAT.
- The grant will be paid retrospectively to the business upon the presentation of paid invoices/receipts for work that has been carried out, but invoices dated prior to the date of the award being made will not be accepted.
- The grant will not need to be paid back once the project has been implemented and is underway.
- If a business is successful in its application, then it cannot apply for a further grant under this scheme.
- There may be flexibility within the amount awarded once the final costs are established, but the 50:50 ratio will still apply and the maximum grant that can be awarded will be £1000.
What sort of project might qualify for a grant?
It is likely that a qualifying project/scheme may fall into one (or more) of these categories:
1. Reductions in energy consumption – LED Lighting
2. Production of onsite energy e.g photovoltaic panels or other means
There will be many potential projects, and we do not want too specific as each business may have their own thoughts on how to reduce their carbon footprint. We would suggest that the following might be considered:
- more efficient lighting (LED)
- better insulation
- more efficient heating/cooling systems
- better IT equipment and technologies
- renewable energy
- resource efficiency
- waste reduction
- low carbon transport
- professional energy efficiency audits*
* We would also consider projects that include a Green Business/ Energy Efficiency audit (undertaken by a suitably qualified professional) that recommends deliverable, affordable (or no-cost) measures as part of their grant application.
It is important that the applicant can measure the impact of the project reasonably accurately i.e. that their project has actually resulted in reduced energy use or increased recycling. We will look for a set of quantifiable measures and this is likely to require a set of ‘before and after’ records being kept and maintained. The quality of data you collect will be important to ensure that your measurement of your emissions is as accurate as possible. DEFRA suggest some simple but accurate ways in which qualifying activities can be measured.
|Emission-releasing activity||Source of information|
|Electricity use||Total kilowatt hours used from electricity bills|
|Natural gas use||Total kilowatt hours used from gas bill|
|Water treatment||Total water treated in cubic metres from water bill|
|Fuel used in company owned vehicles||Litres of fuel purchased from invoices and receipts (more accurate) or vehicle mileage from vehicle log books/odometers (less accurate)|
|Employee passenger travel||Employee receipts for details of travel, and use distance calculation websites to obtain flight, rail and road distances|
|Water disposal/recycling||Tonnes of waste to landfill and recycled from waste collection provider|
It is also worth remembering at this point that reductions in energy costs usually represent ongoing reductions in revenue costs for your business and possibly for your employees too!
There are further, detailed suggestions in the toolkit that accompanies these guidelines
Applying for a grant
BRR Business Support
Somerset County Council
Economy and Planning
It is suggested that you email in the first instance with just a few details of your enquiry and you will be contacted as soon as possible.
This post was written by Paul Young