UK grants are available to businesses and homeowners to reduce carbon footprint and boost the green economy in the current crisis, and more recently the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched a £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
The scheme will also support the Government’s net-zero and clean growth goals and will be delivered by Salix Finance.
Annie Shepperd OBE, Chief Executive at Salix Finance, said: “The announcement today paves the way for workers in the energy efficiency sector to see their jobs secured, and, for the country to know that public sector organisations will be leading the way in reducing the carbon footprint of the UK. Salix is wasting no time in opening the application for these funds and we have a great team who are ready to support all public sector organisations who want to be part of this scheme.”
The scheme, which has just opened, will provide grants for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects in the public sector, Central Government Departments and non-departmental public bodies. The funding will support the delivery of green investment initiatives to deliver significant carbon and financial savings in the public sector and boost the economy in its recovery period in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The Government has also launched a Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund, also being delivered by Salix Finance, enabling public sector organisations to apply for money for the identification, development and management of energy efficiency projects and apply to the Public Sector Decarbonisation scheme.
Syntegra MD Alan King said: ‘Both new funds send a powerful message that public organisations need to play their part in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, not just businesses and households.
‘We have heard a lot recently about a green recovery post-COVID and this should really get the ball rolling and set a good example for businesses to follow.
‘I’m confident Salix will oversee this scheme in their usual exemplary style and encourage all eligible public bodies to take advantage of the funds available.’
Meanwhile, the German Government is funding more than £450million of upgrades to ventilation systems its public buildings in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19…a move we believe should be implemented in the UK too.
These grants will go to improve the air circulation in public offices, museums, theatres, universities and schools. Private companies are not eligible to access the scheme.
Droplets containing the virus are believed to live in the air of a room for up to eight minutes.
And the threat of contamination appears greater during the cold winter months as people spend more time indoors.
The aim of the programme is to improve existing systems rather than install new more costly versions.
Each upgrade is eligible for a maximum of €100,000. Funding is also available for CO2 sensors which indicate when the air in a room is unhealthily stale.
The German Government also wants schools that don’t have central air conditioning systems to get mobile air purifiers.
Alan King said: ‘As the science shows a link between the state of the air and spread of infection, it would make sense for UK authorities to invest along these lines too.
‘In the absence of Government support, however, we would still urge companies to consider upgrading their own ventilation systems to ensure they are as effective as possible in protecting people who still need to operate in their workplace.
‘If needed, we can undertake building and plant efficiency checks, design s and condition audits as well as air quality monitoring then recommend – and conduct – appropriate improvements.’