Frequently asked questions
Is my business eligible for BEECP?
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.
Is My Business Eligible?
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)
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.
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.
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
- Forest Heath
- North Hertfordshire
- South Cambridgeshire
- South Holland
- South Kesteven
- St Edmundsbury
- West Norfolk and Kings Lynn
Your business must have received less that €200,000 of state aid over the last three fiscal years.
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
- 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.
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.
The table below gives 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.
Start/ stop controls; wireless TRVs
LED lights; occupancy sensors
Heat recovery; variable speed drives; induction hobs
Alterative refrigerants; compact heat exchangers with integrated fans; heat recovery; PVC curtain
Building Energy Management
BEMS; voltage optimisation; smart metering
Vehicle and logistic tracking
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
This is not a complete list of ineligible measures- please contact the BEECP team to check your project’s eligibility.
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.
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
You can also register your interest online at https://www.beecp.org/sign-up
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.
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.
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 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.
WHAT IS THE GRANT APPLICATION DEADLINE?
It is expected that the final grants will be awarded in February 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.
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.
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.
WHAT EVIDENCE WILL BE REQUIRED TO CLAIM FOR THE AGREED GRANT AMOUNT?
The following evidence will be required to secure payment of your grant:
- Completed grant claim form (BEE.10), plus supplementary forms if relevant (BEE.10A Finance Agreements, BEE.10B Job Creation and BEE.10C New Products and Services).
- Invoices or receipts for the items purchased.
- Bank statements showing defrayal of the relevant invoices and receipts.
- Finance agreement and repayment schedule, if relevant.
All documents must be certified as being a true copy of the original, signed and dated by the person submitting the claim.
WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE MEASURES UPFRONT BEFORE THE GRANT IS PAID?
ERDF funding regulations require SMEs to pay for capital measures upfront and then be reimbursed for the approved grant amount. This is to ensure that the grant is used for the approved energy efficiency measures. This method also means that appropriate audit trail is provided to BEECP, reducing the risk of the grant conditions being breached.
HOW WILL THE GRANT BE PAID TO ME?
Grants will be paid in arrears, once projects have been completed and evidence of installation and defrayal has been provided. Claims will be settled by BACS within 30 days of the submission of the completed claim form (for grant claims under £5,000) or within 3 months (for claims over £5,000).
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.
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.
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.
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.
WHAT IF MY PROJECT COSTS MORE THAN EXPECTED?
Your offer letter will state the total grant offer in £ and the intervention rate. In both cases, these represent the maximum amount which will be paid upon receipt of a compliant grant claim. If the final invoice is higher than the preferred quote identified in the application, the claim will be capped at the maximum £ stated in the offer letter. For example, if your business has been offered a grant of 25% against a total project expenditure of £8,000 (i.e. £2,000 grant offer) and the final project costs £10,000, your claim would be capped at £2,000. Please note, you would still need to submit invoices and bank statements showing the whole project cost of £10,000 has been defrayed.
In the same way, if your project costs less than the amount quoted in the application, your claim will be capped at the intervention rate stated in the offer letter. So, using the example above of a grant offer of 25% against an £8,000 project (£2,000 grant offer), if the final invoice is for £6,000 then only £1,500 (25%) can be claimed.
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.