Sunday, March 3, 2024

West Yorkshire SMEs get advice on energy cost-cutting measures

Businesses under financial pressures from inflation and the climate crisis are to benefit from new support being launched today by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin.

The Mayor’s Business Sustainability Support will help SMEs cut their energy use and combat the effects of climate change.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority will work with interested businesses to develop and implement new sustainability plans, aimed at slashing energy bills and boosting resilience against rising temperatures, supply chain issues and flooding.

Following a free assessment of the firm’s environmental impact, these bespoke plans will recommend various workplace adaptations, such as lighting that is more energy efficient, measures that cut down on waste, or equipment that harnesses cheap, clean and renewable energy, including solar panels.

Advice will then be offered on how to deliver the plan, secure public and private investment, and make sustainable changes to ensure annual energy bill savings long into the future.

Mayor Tracy Brabin said the new support would be a gamechanger in the region’s fight to become a more resilient, Net Zero carbon economy by 2038. The £10m fund comes after the Mayor’s recent launch of the West Yorkshire Plan, which commits to building a greener, more vibrant West Yorkshire that works for all.

She said: “As the cost of living and energy crisis continues, it’s vital we step up support for our hardest hit businesses, helping them keep down costs, protect jobs and stay afloat during this difficult time.

“This new, £10m scheme will help us deliver a greener West Yorkshire by slashing the carbon footprint of our small and medium-sized businesses, while futureproofing them against the harmful effects of climate change.

“As we transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2038, we’re determined to ensure that no business is left behind, as we work to make positive, greener changes that benefit all our communities across the region.”

The scheme will build on previous sustainability support through the Mayor’s Resource Efficient Business programme, which helped 360 West Yorkshire businesses save an average of £11,500 per year on their energy bills.

Lowe Engineering Limited, a Leeds-based power plant equipment supplier, was given a £5,000 grant last year, which was used to fit the warehouse and offices with modern LED lighting, helping to save the business up to £2,000 per year.

Operations Director Graeme Walker said: “Improving the lighting throughout our premises had been on our “to do” list for some time but, due to the large initial expenses and slow cost-saving recovery, it was always at the back of the queue when it came to annual building repairs and improvements.

“However, with the onset of higher energy prices coupled with the Mayor’s support, we were encouraged to install LED lighting throughout the building, and recovered our 50% of the expenses within a short period of time.

“It is safe to say that without the scheme in place, this improvement would still be on the “to do” list.”

Businesses are encouraged to find out more about the support on our Sustainability webpage.

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