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Doors open for low carbon innovators

Welcome to the second installment of what’s been a fairly funding-focused week so far on the blog. This one’s more for the small-scale innovators with an eye on bigger things.

First up, the Government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, which has just announced a pot of £35million over the next three years for SMEs to develop their ideas in areas such as lighting, heating and ventilation.

There’s little use in one small business trying to justify the entire spend on their idea, though: it’s a maximum of £1million per project, with the theory being that Government support would help leverage further private funding.

There’s a further £3million available in conjunction with the Technology Strategy Board, where the focus is innovative heat storage. Sounds like something that will certainly complement the learning so far from the RHPP scheme – which for the record, is well and truly still open for householders to get a head start with today’s low-carbon heating technologies.

If that’s not enough to get technologically creative readers all abuzz, there’s another sizeable pot available for those with plans that can compete with the best internationally. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is back for 2013 – and there’s just less than a month to get those business plans in.

500,000 Euros is available to the overall winner, with smaller amounts for runners up, not to mention some serious technical support. It may be an international affair, but the British arm of those organising this competition are trying to rouse a nationalistic fervour. People’s Postcode Lottery managing director Jo Bucci said:

The contest has always featured a Brit as a finalist, until last year. This year, we are hoping that more British entrepreneurs with the next big green sustainable idea step up and enter as it is clear from our survey that there is appetite amongst British consumers to lower their carbon footprint.”

Proven potential to cut greenhouse gases and quality of design are the important things here, and the remit is wide. Anything from freight carbon emissions mitigation to water recycling showers have thrived in the competition’s seven years of running, so if you’ve got an idea and a plan to make it benefit the masses, what are you waiting for? You’ve got until 17 July: www.greenchallenge.info

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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