Atlas Copco Compressors UK is launching a zero per cent APR finance scheme to replace the recently withdrawn Carbon Trust loans scheme and to encourage investment in energy-efficient compressed air technology. The scheme will be available on equipment ordered from 1 July 2011.
Working in association with Atlas Copco Customer Finance, which is a wholly-owned company within the Atlas Copco Group, the 0 per cent APR (Annual Percentage Rate) finance initiative is intended to help companies invest in the latest compressed air technology. Commenting on the launch, Elwyn Smiles, the Regional Sales Manager for Northern Europe at Atlas Copco Customer Finance, said: "The original Carbon Trust 0 per cent loan scheme was a real boon for industry and we were involved in many projects which used the funding it provided. We do not want to see that affordable funding just disappear and so, as part of our commitment to energy efficiency, the environment and the continued recovery of British industry, we are introducing our own 0 per cent finance offering for Atlas Copco equipment."
Believed to be a 'first' for the compressed air industry, the 0 per cent APR offer from Atlas Copco also has additional benefits compared to the original Carbon Trust loan scheme. For instance, the terms of the loan are flexible and can be taken out for a period of up to seven years, and the amount of the loan can be anything from £1000 upwards (this compares with a standard four-year term for the original Carbon Trust scheme, with the amount set between £5000 and £100,000). Also, unlike the Carbon Trust Scheme, Atlas Copco's offering is available to everyone, not just SME's (subject to the usual credit checks).
Additionally, the process for the Atlas Copco initiative is far more straightforward than the original Carbon Trust scheme and the Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme that has replaced it. For example, while Atlas Copco can provide details of the carbon reduction achieved, there are no carbon assessment criteria to be met in order for the equipment to qualify for the funding. Also, the loan approval and funds release are very smooth and quick and not reliant on government bureaucracy – which was a criticism levied at previous schemes.
Perhaps the most significant difference when comparing Atlas Copco's scheme to the current Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme is the fact that, with a 0 per cent APR rate, the new Atlas Copco offer is much less expensive for the customer.
As Smiles explains: "We have compared our offer to both the original Carbon Trust scheme, and the Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme. It is significantly cheaper than the current Energy Efficiency Financing scheme, in fact up to 25 per cent cheaper in some instances, and greatly improves on some of the fixed terms and inflexible bureaucracy of the original government-backed scheme. For example, a loan of £31,000 for a 75kW Variable Speed Drive compressor over an agreement period of 60 months would cost £641.08 plus VAT per month under the Energy Efficiency Financing scheme. Under the new Atlas Copco scheme, it would cost significantly less at £516.66 plus VAT per month."*
The 0 per cent finance offer is available on any stationary Atlas Copco compressor and associated equipment, and not just Variable Speed Drive units. Atlas Copco says that investing in its new technology and services inherently brings energy savings when compared to legacy equipment.
* Example provided for illustration purposes only.