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FAQS

Find out more about BEECP

HOW DO I REGISTER MY INTEREST IN BEECP?


For general enquiries, to book a site visit or to start a grant application, please contact the BEECP office:

Tel: 01733 882549

Email: info@beecp.co.uk

You can also register your interest online at https://www.beecp.org/sign-up




WHAT IS ERDF?


The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is an EU funding programme which aims to generate economic growth by supporting innovation, sustainability and increased employment.

BEECP is funded through ERDF priority axis 4, which aims to support SMEs in reducing carbon emissions.




WHAT ABOUT BREXIT?


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has confirmed that the UK Government will guarantee funding for European Union funded projects after the UK leaves the European Union*. This means that BEECP is not at risk of losing funding.

* https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-philip-hammond-guarantees-eu-funding-beyond-date-uk-leaves-the-eu
* https://goo.gl/ZEpXqf




IS MY BUSINESS ELIGIBLE?


The BEECP programme is open to most Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that meet the following criteria, though a full eligibility check will be completed when you register your interest with BEECP. ECONOMIC ACTIVITY Your organisation must be regarded as an ‘enterprise’ which can be defined as, ‘any entity engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form’. It is therefore the economic activity that is the determining factor, not the legal form. An enterprise might therefore be:

  • Sole Trader
  • Unincorporated Association
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Company
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Community Interest Company (CIC)
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  • Industrial and Provident Society (I&P or IPS)
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY Further to the above your business must not be an undertaking in financial difficulty. This means an undertaking in respect of which at least one of the following circumstances occurs: In the case of a limited liability company (other than an SME that has been in existence for less than three years or, for the purposes of eligibility for risk finance aid, an SME within 7 years from its first commercial sale that qualifies for risk finance investments following due diligence by the selected financial intermediary), where more than half of its subscribed share capital has disappeared as a result of accumulated losses. This is the case when deduction of accumulated losses from reserves (and all other elements generally considered as part of the own funds of the company) leads to a negative cumulative amount that exceeds half of the subscribed share capital. For the purposes of this provision, ‘limited liability company’ refers in particular to the types of company mentioned in Annex I of Directive 2013/34/EU (1) and ‘share capital’ includes, where relevant, any share premium. In the case of a company where at least some members have unlimited liability for the debt of the company (other than an SME that has been in existence for less than three years or, for the purposes of eligibility for risk finance aid, an SME within 7 years from its first commercial sale that qualifies for risk finance investments following due diligence by the selected financial intermediary), where more than half of its capital as shown in the company accounts has disappeared as a result of accumulated losses. For the purposes of this provision, ‘a company where at least some members have unlimited liability for the debt of the company’ refers in particular to the types of company mentioned in Annex II of Directive 2013/34/EU. ORGANISATIONAL SIZE You must employ not more than 250 full time equivalent (FTE) staff. Your business must have an annual turnover less than €50million OR an annual balance sheet less than €43million. LOCATION Your business needs to be active in one of the following local authority areas that fall within the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership catchment area;
  • Cambridge City
  • East Cambridgeshire
  • Fenland
  • Forest Heath
  • Huntingdonshire
  • North Hertfordshire
  • Peterborough
  • Rutland
  • South Cambridgeshire
  • South Holland
  • South Kesteven
  • St Edmundsbury
  • Uttlesford
  • West Norfolk and Kings Lynn
STATE AID Your business must have received less that €200,000 of state aid over the last three fiscal years. SECTOR EXCLUSIONS We are unable to provide support to businesses from certain sectors, these include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products
  • Steel
  • Synthetic fibres
  • Statutory services; education, healthcare, etc.
  • Banking, insurance and other financial services
NOTE: These criteria apply to your business and any ‘linked’ businesses that you own or that have a controlling interest in your business.





Applying for a grant

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A GRANT?


The first step is to contact the BEECP team to arrange for one of our Energy Efficiency Advisors to visit your site. Following the visit, the Advisor will provide you with a report including recommendations to improve your business’s energy efficiency. You can use these recommendations, along with any other energy efficiency project ideas you may have, to complete a grant application. One of BEECP’s Grant Brokers will work with you to guide you through the application process. Your completed application form, along with quotes from suppliers and other supporting evidence, will then be submitted to the grants panel for review. In certain circumstances, SMEs can go straight to grant application without having a site visit first. Please contact the BEECP team if you would like more information about this option.




WHAT CAN BE FUNDED THROUGH BEECP?


The BEECP grant scheme aims to assist SMEs in implementing energy efficiency projects with measurable cost- and carbon-savings. Below are some examples of the types of energy efficiency investments that might be suitable for a grant. The list is not exhaustive, so if the technology you wish to invest in is not shown, please get in touch with the BEECP team to discuss further. Heating Start/ stop controls; wireless TRVs Building fabric Smart windows Lighting LED lights; occupancy sensors Equipment Heat recovery; variable speed drives; induction hobs Refrigeration Alterative refrigerants; compact heat exchangers with integrated fans; heat recovery; PVC curtain Building Energy Management BEMS; voltage optimisation; smart metering, solar PV Travel Vehicle and logistic tracking, electric vehicles




ARE THERE ANY MEASURES THAT ARE INELIGIBLE THROUGH BEECP?


The following measures cannot be supported by the BEECP grant scheme:

  • paying-off debts or refinancing
  • the purchase of stock, land, buildings
  • research and development costs
  • financial investments
  • salaries, travel or subsistence
  • training or accreditations
  • ongoing normal business costs (i.e. business rates, overheads etc.)
  • costs associated with a statutory or legislative requirement for the organisation
  • leasing of equipment or machinery
  • new build projects

BEECP is only able to provide grant support to upgrade or replace existing equipment or fittings- for example, replacing fluorescent lighting with more efficient LED fittings. Projects which involve the purchase of entirely new equipment or the addition of new infrastructure to existing buildings cannot be supported- for example, grants could not be provided towards purchasing an air conditioning system if the premises did not already have an older, less efficient air conditioning system in place. In the same way, BEECP is not able to award grants towards new build projects.

Please note that LED leasing schemes cannot be supported by grants. This is not a complete list of ineligible measures- please contact the BEECP team to check your project’s eligibility.




CAN I CHOOSE WHICH MEASURE TO INSTALL THROUGH BEECP?


Yes, the SME can choose which energy efficiency measures they wish to install. The BEECP Energy Efficiency Advisor will identify recommended measures in their report. The Grant Broker will then advise which measures would be suitable to include in a grant application, based on both the Advisor’s report and any additional measures which the SME wishes to complete. The final decision on the eligibility of energy efficiency measures will be made by the Grant Panel, based on a number of criteria including the anticipated energy savings and subsequent reduction in the carbon footprint of your business.




HOW MUCH FUNDING IS AVAILABLE?


Grants are available up to a maximum of 25% of eligible capital expenditure, with the remaining 75% of costs being met by the applicant. The minimum grant award is £1,000 and the maximum is £20,000. All grants are calculated excluding VAT. Grants are discretionary and not all applicants will be awarded the full 25% of eligible costs. The value of any grant offer will be determined by a Grants Panel and will be based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to, the anticipated energy savings and subsequent reduction in the carbon footprint of your business. Only one grant can be awarded per business during the lifetime of the BEECP project. Involvement in previous ERDF projects does not exclude you from applying, as long as no more than €200,000 of state aid has been received within the past three years.




HOW MANY QUOTATIONS WILL I NEED?


If the total net cost of your project is £24,999 or less, a minimum of one quotation must be provided for each item of expenditure. Applicants are, however, encourage to provide three quotations to demonstrate value for money. For projects over £25,000, procurement requirements vary depending on the nature of the project. Applicants should discuss procurement with their Grants Broker as early as possible to ensure the correct process is followed.




CAN I CHOOSE THE PROVIDER TO INSTALL THE MEASURE?


You can choose your own provider, but if you would like help to find a suitable provider, BEECP can provide list of potential suppliers to assist SMEs with gathering quotations. However, these suppliers are not endorsed by BEECP and the applicant can also identify their own providers. The preferred supplier should be indicated on the grant application form. If this isn’t the lowest quotation, an explanation for selecting the supplier should be provided. This could, for example, include the provider’s availability to carry out the work; aftercare considerations; or other added value factors.




CAN I CLAIM VAT?


Grants are awarded as a percentage of net costs. However, if your business is not VAT registered, you can apply for a grant as a percentage of gross costs. Please note, appropriate evidence will need to be provided to demonstrate that your business is not VAT registered.




DOES MY BUSINESS NEED TO OWN ITS PREMISES?


No, but you should check your rental contract to confirm whether you need permission from your landlord to carry out the proposed works. If required, approval should be sought before submitting a grant application. We will also ask you to confirm the expiry date of your lease in your grant application. The Grants Panel will want to see that the proposed capital investment will be paid back within the remaining lease period.




WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE IN MY GRANT APPLICATION?


With the support of your Grant Broker, you will need to complete an application form describing the proposed project, how it would help your business and the savings you expect to make. In addition to this, a number of supporting documents should be included with your application. Requirements vary from project to project, but we would typically expect to see the following documents:

  • Full, unabbreviated financial accounts for the last 3 years or a robust business plan.
  • Up-to-date management accounts for the current financial year.
  • Quotations for the proposed project (the number of quotations required will depend on the size of the project. Procurement requirements should be discussed with your Grant Broker early in the application process).
  • A signed copy of your organisation’s equality and diversity policy, if you have one.
  • Evidence of match funding- for example, a bank statement showing the total project cost in company reserves.
Your Grant Broker will be able to confirm the specific requirements for your project. For applications to fund an electric vehicle, a calculations sheet will also need to be completed. This provides details of both the vehicle to be replaced and the proposed purchase, including the make, model, engine size, registration, road tax, fuel type, estimated annual mileage and official MPG. The following supporting documents also need to be provided:
  • Latest AA fuel price report ( http://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/driving-costs/fuel-prices)
  • Manufacturer’s brochure showing the proposed vehicle to be purchased, including details of CO2 emissions.
  • Copy of link to independent website showing CO2 emissions of the proposed vehicle to be purchased (e.g. www.nextgreencar.com)
  • Copy of V5 Vehicle Registration Form for the existing vehicle which the grant would be used to replace.
  • Copy of last 2 MOT test certificates for the existing vehicle which the grant would be used to replace.




WHAT IS THE GRANT APPLICATION DEADLINE?


It is expected that the final grants will be awarded in June 2019. However, there is a limited amount of funding available and the scheme will close sooner if all funds have been allocated, so we would urge you to submit your application as soon as possible.




HOW LONG WILL THE APPLICATION TAKE TO BE EVALUATED BY THE GRANT PANEL?


The Grant Panel meet on a regular basis- please check with your Grant Broker when your grant is expected to be reviewed. Applications should be submitted at least 5 working days before the review date. It is sometimes possible to fast track grant applications if a business has a critical deadline to meet. Please speak to your Grant Broker as early as possible if you would like your application to be fast tracked. Your Grant Broker will advise you of the outcome as soon as possible following the Grant Panel meeting.




CAN I USE OTHER GRANTS TO PART FUND MY PROJECT AND WHAT IMPACT DOES THIS HAVE ON THE GRANT I MIGHT RECEIVE FROM BEECP?


Potentially yes, but this will depend on the source of any other funding you are intending to part fund your project with.

If other funding has been sourced from other EU funded programmes then you will not be able to match with a grant from BEECP.

If your source of match funding is non-EU then there is a strong chance you will be able to match it with a grant from BEECP. However, the total value of your project – for the purposes of calculating your BEECP grant – will exclude the value of your non-BEECP grant funding.

Worked Example

Example A

Value of Project: £24,000

Other Funding Secured: £0

Value of Project for BEECP Grant Calculation Purposes: £24,000

Value of BEECP Grant (@25%*): £6,000

Example B

Value of Project: £24,000

Other Funding Secured: £5,000

Value of Project for BEECP Grant Calculation Purposes: £19,000

Value of BEECP Grant (@25%*): £4,750

If you are looking to utilise other funding towards the cost of your energy efficiency project, please check you are able to do this with a member of the BEECP team before proceeding with your application.

*25% is the maximum intervention rate from BEECP, but your grant offer could be lower than this.




CAN I USE GRANT FUNDING FROM THE CARBON TRUST TO PART FUND MY ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECT?


Unfortunately, ERDF has informed us that BEECP is not able to fund energy efficiency projects that have already secured funding from the Carbon Trust.





Completing your BEECP-funded project

WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE GRANT?


The standard grant terms and conditions can be found here. If your grant application is successful, there may also be additional, project-specific conditions. These will be outlined in your grant offer letter.




HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO INSTALL THE MEASURES, ONCE THE APPLICATION IS APPROVED?


It is a condition of the Grant Agreement that measures are installed within three months of the date of Grant Approval, unless the BEECP team is informed of a reasonable explanation for the delay. If you know at the outset that it will not be possible to complete your project within three months, please discuss this with your Grant Broker and include this information in your application form. The Grant Panel may be able to approve a longer delivery period in these circumstances.




CAN I CHANGE MY PROJECT AFTER A GRANT OFFER HAS BEEN MADE?


As a general rule, no. However, there may be come exceptional cases where it is possible to alter the project, so you should contact your Grants Broker to discuss this in the first instance. Please note, any changes to the aims, objectives, targets, budget or work undertaken in relation to your grant must be notified in writing for approval before you defray any expenditure.




HOW SHOULD I PAY THE CONTRACTOR?


To secure payment of your grant, you will need to provide evidence that the contractor has been paid in full for the completed works. This will include certified copies of contractor invoices and bank statements showing defrayal. In most cases, SMEs will pay the contractor using their own funds. If you intend to use a loan or other finance agreement, please discuss this with your Grant Broker before submitting your application.





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