‘Energy for Business’ scheme helps local businesses make the low-carbon leap

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A project which helps local businesses that want to develop low-carbon solutions, has been awarded funding to support SMEs in the region for another three years.

‘Energy for Business’ will enable businesses in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire region to receive support for low-carbon and energy projects until October 2022.

The University of Nottingham led project, which was launched in 2016, is delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, making support free to qualifying businesses.

Over 400 businesses in the region have been supported so far, receiving free consultancy and expert advice as well as the chance to attend a number of energy themed events and lectures. An energy grant scheme has seen 24 businesses awarded funds to help them make the leap to becoming low-carbon.

The new award means that close to £3.6m has now been invested in the programme from the European Regional Development Fund. When the matching contribution from the University of Nottingham is included this results in a total project value of £7.2m, enabling support to continue for local businesses in the form of product innovation, expert consultancy, access to world-class expertise and facilities, student placements and funding through a capital grant scheme for low-carbon or energy saving projects.

The University of Nottingham is a leading international centre for energy research, with a reputation for excellence across a broad range of technologies encompassing renewable energy, decarbonised fuels, energy storage, the built environment and smart grids.

Colette McHugh Putman, who leads the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team, (pictured with Tim Saunders) said: “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with businesses who have an innovative project or energy saving idea. This new funding will really help us to drive innovation and by working together we can promote business growth, accelerate new energy initiatives and benefit the local economy.”

One company that has benefited from the support is Giltbrook Workwear. CEO Chris Jackson had already worked with the University on energy saving projects and asked for advice on what other energy saving measures he could implement.

Chris said: “With the help of Energy for Business we have been able to assess the potential of a roof mounted solar photovoltaic system. As a result, we will be installing a 50 kWp system that will save one third of our electricity bill and help reduce our carbon footprint by 23 tonnes a year.”

WEGO couriers also received support through the project. A successful grant application helped them buy a new ultra-low emission vehicle to add to their fleet.