More than £715,000 has already been awarded to businesses and organisations through the grants programme which we're running in collaboration with the University of Derby as part of our drive to help the county reach net zero by 2050 or sooner.
But now changes made to the eligibility criteria for the programme’s Small Grants Fund mean even more businesses and organisations will be able to access funding to help implement green energy plans to reduce their energy costs.
Small grants from £6,000 up to a maximum of £20,000 can be applied for towards projects such as, but not limited to:
- installing solar panels
- replacing old heating systems with air/ground source heat pumps
- retrofitting old boilers to make them more energy efficient
- fitting electric vehicle charging points at their premises
- installing energy efficient LED lighting
- improving the insulation in their premises to help prevent heat escaping
- funding to replace equipment and machinery with energy-saving alternatives
- battery storage for solar generated energy.
Applicants will be required to show how their proposals would cut carbon emissions and how they are planning to reduce their emissions to net zero – which means reducing carbon emissions right down to the lowest possible level and off-setting those that cannot be cut through measures such as planting more trees and other forms of habitat creation to absorb excess carbon from the atmosphere, making the overall net emissions zero.
They will also be asked to highlight how the grant funding will support them to improve their management of resources and staff to increase sustainability and show how the project would or could include wider community benefits such as protecting jobs or encouraging greener behaviour among staff.
Councillor Tony King, our Cabinet member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:
“We know that small businesses are feeling the pinch with rising energy bills and costs of materials and goods generally.
“This change to the Small Grants Fund criteria means that we can help more small businesses to invest in energy efficiency measures to help cut their costs as well as their carbon footprint.”
As well as the Small Grants Fund, the programme is also accepting applications to the Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of low carbon, green energy.
And the Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund is also open for applications from high quality, larger scale carbon-cutting projects in Derbyshire. This fund is open to projects that are designed to encourage solutions beyond the mainstream of current thinking and the minimum grant available through this fund is £200,000.
Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:
“The University has an ambition to make Derbyshire synonymous with sustainable business. This extra funding capacity to support businesses on the journey to zero carbon is invaluable, particularly at a time when energy costs are rising. We look forward to seeing the innovative projects that can be supported as a result.”
Find more information on the Green Entrepreneurs Fund programme