Energy Efficiency grants now available for local retail businesses in Suffolk
Recent changes to European funding rules mean that retail businesses across Suffolk can access grants for energy efficiency measures.
Suffolk County Council is collaborating with Norfolk County Council to use EU funding to support businesses from a range of sectors. A number of shops have already benefitted from free and independent advice and a change in the funding regulations means that shops can now also access grants towards the capital costs of any energy saving measure.
The Carbon Trust calculate that taking 20 per cent off the energy spend of any business is equivalent to a 5 per cent increase in sales.
One of the businesses already benefitting from the scheme, is Clickers Archery in Norfolk. Owner Graham Harris said: “Business Energy Efficiency Anglia’s help has enabled us to reach our long term goal of carbon saving in a shorter period of time. It would have taken us a few years to generate the funding ourselves but receiving the grant funding through BEE Anglia has accelerated that process.”
Tim Basey-Fisher from St. John’s Hall Storage in Beccles commented “Having a BEE Anglia advisor come to our business and take the time to understand our individual needs and requirements was very valuable; the report that they produced for us has enabled us to prioritise improvements to our premises that will have the most significant energy and cost savings and reduce our carbon footprint. The fact they could then help us with a grant towards this was a very welcome bonus.”
Grants are available for up to a maximum of £20,000, with a minimum of £1,000 for those businesses which take part in the scheme. To date, the Business Energy Efficiency Anglia (BEE Anglia) project has reviewed 371 organisations in Suffolk and Norfolk (156 in Suffolk), identifying cost savings of £2.26m (which equates to £6,146 per business), and carbon savings of 22,371 tonnes (61 tonnes per business).
These savings are equivalent to the carbon used in 6,648flights from London to Sydney.
This initiative is not just about identifying savings. BEE Anglia has so far awarded over £118,000 in grant funding for various energy efficiency projects in Suffolk including radiant heating, vehicle tracking, wood burners and more efficient lighting.
Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet for Environment and Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks said: “The fact that the rules have been reviewed so that more businesses can benefit from this funding is great news. Taking part in this scheme can help businesses make savings year on year – and every pound cut from energy bills is another pound that is kept in the local economy.
“This energy efficiency initiative and others like it contribute towards the work we are doing to make Suffolk the greenest county.”
The BEE Anglia project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered across the region through a partnership of Suffolk County Council, Norfolk County Council, Groundwork and NWES. The project has three core offers that have been designed to help businesses reduce carbon and save money using independent advice. Energy experts will visit the business’ premises to conduct a free, impartial and independent review that identifies the best cost and carbon saving opportunities.
Businesses interested in any aspect of this service can find out more and register online at www.beeanglia.org or call Groundwork on 01473 350370. Dedicated advisors will be able to answer any queries about eligibility for the programme or potential grant projects.