A programme to help businesses across Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin to become more energy efficient has been extended for three more years.
Over the last two and a half years, the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) has helped over 300 businesses to review their energy use and control how much they spend on gas and electricity. Recommendations from these reviews has provided average energy bill savings of over 30% and more than £2 million in annual savings, adding up to £10 million over five years.
One hundred and fifty businesses have been provided with grants of between £1,000 and £20,000 to make energy efficiency improvements, ranging from upgrading to LED lighting and modernising office heating, to improving insulation and installing fast shutting warehouse doors.
Businesses have been further supported by the programme through forums and conferences to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and the benefits of being more energy efficient.
One business supported through the programme is Hitherbest Ltd, a Telford-based manufacturer of sheet metal fabrication products who received a grant of £17,000 to modify their powder coating ovens. This resulted in an annual saving of £7,350 in energy bills, together with a cut of £7,400 in raw material costs.
Hitherbest MD, Peter Grant, said: “The modifications have also reduced our impact from greenhouse gases by some 41.8 tonnes per year, but the difference hasn’t just been made financially or environmentally – we can see a noticeable improvement in product quality too.”
Following the recent successes of the BEEP programme, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has approved the programme to run until 2022. This will provide 340 businesses across Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin with free energy efficiency assessments and £1,360,000 in grant funding to implement necessary energy saving measures, which are estimated to save 3300 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Programme advisors will be hoping for more success stories like that of The Patent Ferrule Company Ltd, which specialises in the precision cutting and manipulation of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. The Redditch-based company operates 24 hours per day, however aging fluorescent lighting and an old heating system had led to high energy costs and low energy efficiency. A grant and guidance provided through the BEEP programme enabled the business to replace the old lighting system with new LED lighting with motion sensors and upgrade the heating system. These improvements are expected to save the company £6,600 a year and reduce its output of greenhouse gases by 30 tonnes per year.
The BEEP programme will continue from April 2019, as programme manager Christopher Atkinson said: “We are very happy that the Business Energy Efficiency Programme will be continuing for another three years. We will be able to provide further advice to businesses across the region and provide grants to make the necessary changes to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. We’re pleased that the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide energy efficiency advice and organise quarterly BEEP forums, encouraging more businesses across our region to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations through energy and resource efficiency improvements, as well as wider sustainability good practice.”
The Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) is an ERDF funded programme, supporting businesses to become more environmentally friendly and energy efficient and in doing so, save money on energy costs.
BEEP is a partnership between Worcestershire Councils, Herefordshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Shropshire Council.
For more information about BEEP visit their website here.