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SME Loan Fund puts Resource Efficiency at Top of the Business Agenda in Scotland

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Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland are being urged to put resource efficiency at the top of their agendas with a supporting loan of up to £100,000. The Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan scheme –funded by the Scottish Government – offers loans of between £1,000 and £100,000 to eligible businesses, to help them to save businesses money while reducing their carbon emissions.

Business and Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “We are committed to supporting businesses across Scotland improve their energy and resource efficiency, to help cut costs and increase their competitiveness.  Our SME loan scheme provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to make vital saving through the installation of resource efficient measures, as well as bringing economic opportunities to businesses participating in the supply chain for the installation of measures.

“Businesses can apply for loans of up to £100,000 to cover the capital costs of eligible measures. The loans are interest free for most measures and have a repayment period of up to 8 years.


“Hundreds of businesses have already benefited from the loan scheme and with funding of £5.1 million available this year for new loans I would encourage all Scottish SMEs to contact Resource Efficient Scotland to access this financial support.”

The scheme provides loans – interest-free, for all projects with the exception of renewables – to help fund a range of carbon reducing measures such as upgraded lighting, improved insulation, biomass boiler installation, the purchase of more energy-efficient equipment and projects to reduce the use of water and other raw materials.

Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Resource Efficient Scotland, part of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Making resource efficiency a priority doesn’t just benefit the environment; it also leads to significant financial savings, giving businesses a real competitive advantage.

“We know that a lack of time, money and expertise can often be perceived as a barrier by businesses when considering the viability of a resource efficiency programme – particularly in the case of small businesses.  A Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan can help to address any doubts around affordability; the specialist support from our team of advisors can solve any issues around the availability of time and expertise.  I hope to see more businesses in Scotland taking up this opportunity and making progress towards helping the whole country to become more environmentally sustainable.”


Resource Efficient Scotland estimates that by taking simple steps to improve resource efficiency, businesses in Scotland could collectively save up to £2.9 billion.  The programme provides free assistance to businesses and public organisations to reduce energy, water and waste.

Steve Macfarlane is the director of Glenuig Inn Ltd, a pub and hotel in Lochialort, near Fort William – an example of a business which has benefited significantly from the loan fund. He said: With support from a Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan, the Glenuig Inn is now running on 100% renewable energy. We have also completely eliminated food waste.

“Having progressively upgraded our operation over the last six years, we’ve really surprised ourselves at Glenuig Inn as to what we can achieve by becoming a more sustainable business. We’ve been able to reduce our energy costs to 2005 levels and double our turnover – against the backdrop of an economy that has seen energy prices increase by 300%.

“Our competitiveness has been substantially improved as a result of the investments, creating a wholly sustainable business – both financially and environmentally – allowing us to market the business as Scotland’s Exemplar Green Inn.”

Click here for more information or to apply for a SME Loan – or to find examples of how other businesses have put the money to use,

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.


1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.


3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.


Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.


We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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