24/06/2002

Action Energy aims to help cut energy costs

Monday June 24 saw the launch of Action Energy, a Government-backed initiative which aims to help businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland cut their energy costs through the provision of free, professional advice and assistance.

Through Action Energy, which is managed by Invest Northern Ireland and the Carbon Trust, organisations from multinationals to small businesses will be able to receive free and impartial advice on how to save money by reducing energy use. As well as the clear commercial advantages, companies can also maintain their corporate social responsibility.

The services offered by Action Energy include a free helpline offering expert advice, online information, publications providing basic to technical information and free advisory visits to identify opportunities for energy savings.

Action Energy plans to place strong emphasis on supporting smaller businesses, which will include the provision of tailored, practical and simple-to-implement advice through the helpline, a specific section for small to medium-sized businesses on the website www.actionenergy.org.uk and free advisory visits from Energy Efficiency Advisers.

Small and medium-sized companies in Northern Ireland that require capital investment to become more energy efficient, can also benefit from the Loan Action scheme. Loan Action has been introduced by the Energy Saving Trust to enable small and medium sized companies in Northern Ireland to reduce their energy costs and improve their competitiveness and profitability.

The scheme provides interest-free loans of £5,000 to £30,000, so that companies can take action to reduce their energy bills. The loans can have a repayment periods of three years.

A further financial incentive available to all businesses is provided in the form of Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs), which encourages businesses to invest in energy saving equipment.

Interested organisations can call the Energy Efficiency Section on 0208 9262 3029 or visit www.actionenergy.org.uk to take advantage of the advice and services available.

(MB)

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