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Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions about the OxFutures project and grants process

If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please contact

What is the OxFutures project?

OxFutures is a £3.2m project consisting of European Regional Development funding and matched funding from partners that will grow Oxfordshire’s low carbon economy. The three-year project, which runs until March 2020, will focus on energy efficiency and low carbon innovation by delivering free energy audits to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and facilitate knowledge sharing between academics, local authorities, businesses and social enterprises. Grants will be available to install energy efficient measures and equipment and to develop new low-carbon products and services. Low carbon start-ups will have access to support and funding for feasibility work and development. The result will reduced energy bills for businesses, lower CO2 emissions and a boost to the local economy.

When are grant applications assessed?

16 September 2022 (application submission 7 Sept)

How will the grant benefit my organisation?

  • By providing part of the money needed to install energy efficiency projects.
  • By identifying ways to cut your energy bills, and reduce your financial exposure to future electricity and gas price rises.
  • By improving your organisation’s green reputation.

What is an SME?

An SME is a small or medium enterprise which employs fewer than 250 persons and has an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million Euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million Euro [in accordance with the definition laid down in EU Regulation No 1303/2013 within the meaning of Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC (please see the website here).

Which organisations are NOT eligible for the grant?

  • Franchises
  • Social welfare (hospitals, nursing homes, fire stations, sports facilities, parks and public facilities such as libraries)
  • School-age educational establishments
  • Child-minding facilities
  • Organisations directly involved in the primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products (including fishery and aquaculture)
  • Coal, steel, shipbuilding and synthetic fibre industries
  • Banking and insurance companies
  • Organisations ineligible for State Aid
  • Organisation that have received more than €200,000 in State Aid in the last 3 rolling years
  • Home-based businesses

If you are unsure whether your organisation is eligible to receive a grant please contact us.

If you are ineligible for grant funding, you can register for a free desktop diagnosis report of your premises with Energy Solutions Oxfordshire – trusted energy efficiency experts working with businesses in Oxfordshire

We’re moving premises. Can we apply for a grant?

Yes, you can apply for a grant if you can demonstrate that your project will reduce the energy you will consume at your new premises. It must be for the replacement of existing equipment, fixtures or fittings; the installation of energy efficiency measures associated with the building fabric (roof, floor slabs, walls, windows, and doors) or voltage optimisation technology.

You will need to provide a relevant Energy Performance Certificate for the premises with your application.

You must either own the property, or hold a lease of at least 12 months and have a signed letter of approval from the property owner to undertake the work specified in the application.

How much grant money can I get towards the cost of my energy efficiency projects?

The grant available is for £1,000 – £10,000 and is match funded on a 1:3 basis. For example the total project expenditure must be a minimum of £4,000 to receive the minimum £1,000 grant, or £40,000 to receive the maximum grant size of £10,000. Total project expenditure is not limited to £40,000. If your project spend will be less than £4,000, we can potentially help you identify other sources of funding.

What measures and how many will the grant cover?

Grants will only be approved for physical improvements that quantifiably contribute to the reduction of an organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions from direct sources (Scope 1) and indirectly from consuming non-renewable energy (Scope 2). This includes energy efficiency measures. Renewable energy technologies (with the exception of air-to-air heat source pumps) and low carbon vehicles for personal use are excluded. The following definitions of scope 1 and 2 activities have been sourced from Defra’s Environmental Reporting Guidelines, which can be found on the Government’s ‘Measuring and reporting environmental impacts: guidance for businesses’ webpages:

‘Scope 1 (Direct emissions): Emissions from activities owned or controlled by your organisation that release emissions into the atmosphere. They are direct emissions. Examples of scope 1 emissions include emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, vehicles; emissions from chemical production in owned or controlled process equipment.

Scope 2 (Energy indirect): Emissions released into the atmosphere associated with your consumption of purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling. These are indirect emissions that are a consequence of your organisation’s activities but which occur at sources you do not own or control.’

All quotations should provide a breakdown of capital and labour costs etc., details of the technology / intervention proposed (quantity, make and model), and projected energy and greenhouse gas emission (CO2e) savings; and the initial grant claim MUST be for £1,000+.

How will carbon savings be measured?

Currently, tonnes of carbon saved will be measured using:  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting

What information do I need to provide?

  • General details about your organisation, including – address, contact details, staff numbers, and turnover over.
  • Information about whether you have received State Aid in the last three years and / or have submitted an application for State Aid.
  • Information about your company’s solvency.

How quickly will I get my grant?

You can claim your grant as soon as you have finished your project and submitted evidence to us of payment to your installer. We aim to process claims and send out payment within 18 working days.

Can I use the grant to purchase renewable energy solutions?

No, unless it is an air-to-air source heat pump or will use all the generation from your solar PV panels on-site and won’t export any electricity to the grid. Any project which will claim FITs (Feed-In Tariff) is ineligible.

Who are Low Carbon Hub?

Low Carbon Hub are the lead partner in the ERDF project, who will co-ordinate your application, and signpost you to the advice and support on offer from all the project partners. There are more details about the Hub on its website. Information about the other project partners can be found here.

What is the European Regional Development Fund?

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has been established to reduce the gap between differing levels of development across EU regions, to minimise the extent to which the least-favoured regions and islands (including rural areas) are lagging behind. You can find out more about the ERDF here.

Will my information be secure?

The Low Carbon Hub uses a secure cloud based IT platform, called Box and a Customer Relationship Management system called Quickbase Both systems used for the project are properly encrypted and meets accepted security standards in accordance with national legal requirements. We have thoroughly reviewed our processes in-line with GDPR.

Who will have access to my information/data?

Your data will only be shared amongst project partners and with those who are arranging Knowledge Transfer Workshops and other events connected with the project. A copy of the Low Carbon Hub’s Data Protection Policy is available here.

How can the Project Partnership team help?

  • We have a dedicated and experienced team who can help identify suitable projects, determine whether your organisation is eligible for the grant, and provide you with information of other grant schemes. We can offer site visits to carry out energy audits.
  • We will help you complete and check your forms and information so that your application is processed as efficiently as possible. Sometimes we may need to contact you to find out more about your project or discuss its eligibility and progress.
  • We may be able to provide energy monitoring / metering devices on a short term basis to help determine how much energy is being consumed.

How can I apply?

You can apply online here.

If you have any difficulties with the online form, then contact us and we will send you the form via email or post.

I need more information about State Aid or De minimis Aid?

Here is a link to a document that summarises State Aid for European Regional Development Fund purposes.

I have more questions!

If there’s anything else you want to know that we have not answered here – email Alison and we’ll do our best to help!

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