£9.2m energy efficiency fund for small businesses
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 25 Jul 2018
THE Smarter Energy Greater Lincolnshire programme is making £9.2m available for small businesses and buildings around North East Lincolnshire to save money through energy efficiency.
The programme will help small and medium businesses to make changes through information, training and grants over the next three years.
The aim of the North East Lincolnshire Council campaign is to prevent the release of thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions into the environment while reducing businesses’ energy costs.
“We will be working with small and medium businesses as a one-stop-shop for all their energy efficiency needs. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to get advice and training on how to save money, as well as giving grants towards any improvements that need to be made,” the programme’s manager Helen Norris said.
The project is aiming to provide training for 400 businesses over the next three years, and award grants or vouchers to a further 169.
Businesses can apply for up to 38 per cent of any changes to be paid for by the campaign, such as upgrading their boilers and lighting systems.
“The cost of energy is one of the main barriers to growth for small businesses. However, energy efficiency measures can reduce bills by an average of 18-25 per cent,” Dr Vicky Dunn, the Energy Manager of Public Buildings, said.
“40% of common changes also have zero capital charges.”
Businesses that undergo at least 12 hours of training on energy efficiency will also be entitled to a £500 gift. The scheme is currently considering items such as valves and lighting that will reduce bills, but are open to listening to businesses’ needs.
The project will be the first of its kind in the country, and will be supported by industry experts at the Institute for Applied Material Flow Management in Germany.
Applications are open to any businesses with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than £50m.
Part of the £9.2m program is also focused on improving the energy efficiency of public buildings such as councils and colleges.
“The fact that energy efficiency schemes are being focused on in Lincolnshire is a very encouraging sign. This is an area that needs uplifting, and this is the kind of initiative that could do it,” Tony Parkinson, the estate manager for E-Factor Group said.
Darren Adams from Lincs Eco Energy said: “This is very exciting. It’s a great opportunity for local businesses who can save themselves money and improve the their businesses competitiveness – it’s a win-win situation.
“The energy industry is changing rapidly, so it’s good to see there’s a lot of support out their on a local level for businesses.”