Practice first to receive interest-free 'green loan'

A practice in Wales has become the first to receive an interest-free 'green loan' under a deal between the RCGP and the Carbon Trust.

Mr Gimblett, left, practice manager at the Castle Surgery and GP Dr Rhidian Lewis
Mr Gimblett, left, practice manager at the Castle Surgery and GP Dr Rhidian Lewis

The Castle Surgery in Neath, West Glamorgan, is to receive a £16,500 loan, which it plans to spend on an overnight storage heater.

The loan is the first agreed under a deal - revealed by GP newspaper last year - in which the Carbon Trust agreed to lend practices interest-free loans to help cut their carbon footprint.

The loans could pay for double glazing, replacing oil boilers, or for more significant structural premises alterations.

Steffan Gimblett, practice manager at the Castle Surgery, said the new overnight storage system will not only cut down the practice's carbon footprint but will also cut costs.

‘With the new system we will be using a quarter less power,' he said. ‘This means our carbon footprint will be three-quarters of what it is now.'

The Carbon Trust estimates that the practice will make annual energy savings of £4,550 and annual CO2 savings of 24.8 tonnes.

Mr Gimblett said the Carbon Trust's loan was 'absolutely instrumental' in the practice's decision to opt for a greener system.

‘The practice's current system is quite old and expensive to run, so the partners decided we needed a change. We explored a number of new systems and found the green option was the most attractive option, but also the more expensive option,' he said.

Mr Gimblett said banks would have offered the practice a high-interest loan, but the Carbon Trust's interest-free loan helped it go ahead with the green option.

Pierre Dufour, head of loans at the Carbon Trust, said: 'The interest-free loans have proved enormously popular in the financial year 09/10 with over £14m being offered in the month of March alone.  With a limited amount of funds available, the Carbon Trust is now offering loans up to a value of £100,000 to each company to enable as many small and medium businesses as possible to benefit.'


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