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Carbon Emissions: Small Businesses

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what initiatives have been introduced since the Bali Climate Change Conference to help small businesses reduce their carbon emissions. (177643)

DEFRA is already grant funding the Carbon Trust (with around £90 million in 2007-08) to help businesses of all sizes reduce their carbon emissions. The trust provides a range of support to small businesses, which includes interest-free loans for approved energy saving projects, site surveys identifying energy-saving opportunities for companies with energy bills of more than £50,000 per annum, a free telephone helpline and a range of online tools and bespoke information for different business sectors. Over the last three years the trust has provided around £90 million of support to small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and in 2006-07 alone, SMEs comprised 40 per cent. of the trust's customer base and received two-thirds of the 5,000 on-site energy surveys conducted by, or on behalf of, the trust.

The Government are also currently developing options for implementing the Energy Services Directive which requires that all (except very small) energy suppliers must take action to supply or promote some form of energy efficiency or energy services to all sectors, including small businesses. Once implemented this will complement the range of carbon abatement services offered to this sector by the Carbon Trust.