About Low Carbon Opportunities Programme
If your business is looking to implement a large scale renewable energy project or has the potential for high-tech green growth, support may be available to help your business grow. Through our ERDF funded Low Carbon Opportunities Programme, small and medium sized businesses in Worcestershire may be eligible for feasibility support and grants to install renewable energy systems or launch low carbon projects.
How can this programme help your business?
Low carbon product or service development
Geothermal or biomass heating
Market research for your low carbon innovation
Renewable energy storage
Prototyping, manufacturing or market roll out of your low carbon products/services
Is your business eligible?
Based in and trading from Worcestershire or Shropshire for certain innovation projects.
With fewer than 250 employees
Turnover less than the equivalent of 50 million Euros per annum or a balance sheet of less than 43 million Euros
Grants are available for up to 40% of the costs of eligible capital or revenue projects. Grants of up to £100,000 for capital projects and up to £50,000 for revenue projects will be considered.
Renewable energy projects cannot be double funded so either a project grant of up to 40% can be applied for, or FITs/RHI can be sought. The assessment will help SMEs establish their best option. The programme is looking to fund larger scale renewable energy projects. Through the programme, SMEs in Worcestershire will be enabled and encouraged to adopt renewable energy, and to innovate and grow in, or diversify into, the low carbon sector.
The programme also looks to establish collaborative links between SMEs and other businesses, and SMEs and research institutions. In addition to the free business support and grants towards projects, the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme will include networking and events.
For the Renewable Energy Generation funding, you will be able to apply for the installation of the renewable energy technologies that will both save carbon emissions and reduce your energy usage and costs.
The following types of projects can be funded but the list is not exhaustive:
• Solar photovoltaic systems (solar PV)
• Biomass boilers
• Ground or air source heat pumps
• Solar thermal systems
• Geothermal heat collectors
• Heat networks
• Gas fired combined heat and power systems (CHP)
• Battery storage for renewable energy systems
• Distribution systems for renewable energy technologies
All projects are subject to evaluation and approval will depend, amongst other things, on the cost of the project and the carbon savings which will be achieved.
For the Low Carbon Innovation funding in Worcestershire and Shropshire you will be able to apply for both revenue and/or capital funding to further develop your innovative low carbon product or service and take it to the next stage.
The following types of projects can be funded but the list is not exhaustive:
- Low carbon product, process or service development
- Commercialisation or implementation costs
- Market research and assessment
- IPR protection
- Prototyping, demonstration or testing of new products
- Manufacturing scale up or market rollout
There may be many other projects which can be funded; this is not an exclusive list. The business assist you receive before you apply for a project grant will help you work out what is best for your business at this time. The business assist may also help you obtain quotes for the work.
To qualify, your business must:
-Be situated in and trading from Worcestershire, or Shropshire (certain low carbon innovation projects only).
-Employ fewer than 250 employees.
-Have a turnover of less than the equivalent of 50 million Euros per annum or a balance sheet of less than 43 million Euros.
-£2,000 minimum energy spend (renewables)
Please note some industries such as primary agriculture are not eligible. Other activities excluded are social welfare, education and some retail. For more information and details of how apply please contact the team on 01905 677 888 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Low Carbon Opportunities Programme-
This project is receiving up to £1,624,328.00 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.
Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
Frequently asked questions about our renewable energy support and grants
Can we apply for support and/or a grant if we are tenants in our building?
Yes, you can. We look to see that you have a reasonable length left on your lease (normally around 5 years). We will need to see that you have written permission from the landlord to install the proposed renewable energy project, and that this is in accordance with your lease.
Can you support my double glazing/insulation/LED lighting/energy efficiency project?
No, this programme covers the installation of systems to generate energy, rather than measures for you to reduce the amount of energy you use. This is because there is another programme in Worcestershire which can fund energy efficiency measures – the Business Energy Efficiency Programme. Please contact Worcestershire Business Central for more information on 01905 677888.
Why do I have to have the support from the advisors before I can apply for a grant for a renewable energy system?
Our procured consultants have been appointed as independent consultants to ensure that businesses receive independent and accurate advice on the opportunities for renewable energy systems at your business. This ensures that you are recommended the best option for you, not the system which a supplier wishes you to buy. It also ensures that the system is sized correctly, ensuring that you do not end up with a system oversized for your needs for example.
For Low Carbon Innovation projects the minimum grant size is £2,000 (40% of total project costs). We can therefore only fund projects over £5,000
For Low Carbon Renewables projects the minimum grant size is £5,000 (40% of total project costs). We can therefore only fund projects over £12,500
What’s the maximum size grant we can apply for from this programme?
The maximum grant amount is currently set at £100k for capital projects (this means a maximum project size of £250,000). If your project is larger than this, then you can of course still apply but we will only be able to fund up to £100,000, rather than 40% of the total cost.
What is the procurement process?
For projects of less than £25k, you will need to provide three quotes from different suppliers for the works/products you are purchasing using the grant. Where a grant application includes items of expenditure of £25k or above, a procurement process will have to be undertaken. This is a requirement of the ERDF and designed to ensure the fairness and accuracy in the selection of the best possible supplier(s) for your proposed project(s). You have to advertise the opportunity to supply you with the service on your website or on the
Find it in Worcestershire website for 10 working days, then evaluate the quotes which you receive.
Chess Plastics make significant electricity savings thanks to Low Carbon Opportunities Programme grant
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qWRu6ErsQs Chess Plastics Ltd are a plastic injection moulder based in Droitwich.Finance Director, Gareth Olden explains how some of the machinery they use is quite old, uses a lot of power, is expensive to run...
Bank Street Business Centre provides quality, serviced office space for businesses in Malvern. The owners are keen to reduce the environmental impact of the building as much as possible and have taken advantage of both the Business Energy Efficiency Programme and the...
Archdales 1973 Club, a social club in Worcester, approached the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme looking for support to install renewable energy at their premises. Through the programme, they were given free consultancy advice by impartial renewable energy experts,...
Worcestershire has set itself some ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, and to double the size of the low carbon sector in its Energy Strategy. In response to this, Worcestershire County Council’s Low Carbon Opportunities...
Local organisations are being invited to attend the upcoming Low Carbon virtual event on "Turning your Low Carbon idea into a profitable business". The market for low carbon and environmentally friendly products and services is thriving, and growing rapidly. There has...
Worcestershire County Council’s ERDF-funded Programmes Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) and Low Carbon Opportunities Programme (LOCOP) are joining forces, coming under the same banner, known as Clean Growth. Both BEEP and LOCOP offer 12 hours of free...
Find out more about the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme
Our Open for Business programmes are here to help get you started.