Businesses in North East Lincolnshire attended the launch of a multi-million pound green energy scheme which could benefit the planet and their pocket.
Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire offers dedicated support to help businesses switch to renewable energy sources.
The £9.2m project is part of a wider aim in North East Lincolnshire for the area to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The breakfast event at Oaklands Hotel, Laceby, was introduced by Charli Parkin, Marketing and Communications Manager for Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire.
She said the project had been two-years in the planning with a full-time team in place at North East Lincolnshire Council since April to run the scheme across the Greater Lincolnshire area.
We are a fantastic bunch with a lot of knowledge and expertise.
What we really want to stress is our team is here to help and make this process as easy as possible for you with free advice and support.
We are here to reduce energy consumption and save your business money.
Small to medium sized businesses with under 250 employees and a turnover over under £50m are invited to take part in the project.
Grants covering 38 per cent of the cost of energy efficiency measures such as a new boiler or new lighting are available and a £500 energy saving gift will be given to companies which complete a 12-hour energy awareness programme.
Businesses in rented accommodation can also apply for grant funding, provided the landlord is happy to take part and the tenancy is for a number of years.
Dr Vicky Dunn, Energy Manager for Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire, cited a number of examples where business had made savings by installing energy saving measures or simply encouraging staff to use energy more wisely.
Energy costs are only going one way and that’s higher.
Savings that you can make without relying on a policy or tariff are good ones to be looking at and that is exactly what this programme is looking at.
Dr Dunn also highlighted the positive publicity and environmental image that businesses could gain by improving their energy use.
Green is a selling point that is essential for some contracts.
The public consciousness is fast changing. The most striking example I have seen in recent years is plastic straws.
It caught the public imagination. That could spread to any sector and cause very fast change.
Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire is supported by the University of Applied Sciences Trier’s Institut fur angewandtes Stroffstrommanagement (IfaS) in Germany.
Nina Runge, from IfaS, travelled from Germany to attend the breakfast launch. Nina shared the success of the university’s zero emission campus where every building either has a neutral energy cost or generates more energy than it uses through measures such as solar panels and biogas heaters.
IfaS works on green projects around the world and has helped multi-national companies such as Continental, Procter and Gamble and Evonik Industries improve their energy use.
All these industries have already benefited from saving potentials that we identified for them in the past.
We are a team of 13 people at IfaS and depending on your specific needs, we will form small teams and collaborate with you as part of Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire.
North East Lincolnshire Council was awarded £5.4m funding from the European Regional Development Fund to deliver the project over the next three years, alongside private sector investment.
As well as the launch in Laceby (Tuesday, 24 July), launch events were also planned for Lincoln (25 July) and Brigg (26 July). The events are free but businesses wishing to attend are asked to register in advance at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/smart-energy-greater-lincolnshire-17565365841