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New Energy Efficiency Business Loan Service to Run Beside Renewables Programme

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to launch a new energy efficiency business loan service alongside its growing £50 million renewables investment programmme.

This forms part of the bank's goal to accelerate the provision of loans to small businesses through the government's funding for lending scheme.

The bank has been piloting the new loan scheme in Northern England since November 2012 and it is now expected that it will launch throughout the UK in the summer of 2013.

The programme will involve bank managers across the UK giving energy efficiency audits to small business customers, which will then be used to recommend a variety of behavioural changes and technology or building improvements that could help in reducing the use of energy.

RBS can then offer funding provisions to cover the improvements costs, supported by the government's funding for lending scheme, which cuts one percentage point off of the bank's standard rate of interest and covers the cost of any associated fees.

RBS' head of agriculture and renewable energy, Ian Burrow commented:

"Everyone's got an energy bill and can enjoy savings. We may see businesses gaining up to a 40 to 50 per cent saving on energy bills worth around £9,000 a year, based on about £20,000 of spend."

The initial audits will cost firms around £1,000, but Burrow stated that the business could bundle the upfront cost into the loan, further lowering barriers to take-up.

The scheme is designed to build on the success of RBS' £50 million renewables lending programme, which was launched in 2011 and which Burrows states has already seen approximately £35 million worth of funding committed.

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