SMEs are facing high and rapidly increasing energy costs which seriously affect profitability and in some cases the viability of businesses. With energy prices on a steep upward trajectory, the case for investing in energy efficient and renewable energy technology continues to strengthen. However, with companies struggling to make a profit and owing to their small size, many SMEs are not in a position to pay for measures required to improve energy efficiency that lead to improvements in growth and GVA, despite relatively short payback periods achievable for some measures.
Average 30% Total energy savings
Total of 927kWp of capacity freed-up
Estimated 2250t CO2e greenhouse gas savings
Schemes such as Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) and Marches Renewable Energy (MarRE) have shown high levels of demand for grant funding, with businesses feeding back that they have been enabled to install energy efficiency and renewable energy measures they could otherwise not have done.
With existing European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) capital grant funding streams now fully committed, there is no other similar funding available to support Marches SMEs in improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
The Marches Energy Grant (MEG) will offer free advice, energy assessments and grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to SMEs from all sectors in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The funding will also be available to support community buildings. As well as the grant funding, the project will also run related networking and webinar events for SMEs and other organisations.
Assessments are for SMEs who wish to use their energy more efficiently, reducing costs and improving environmental credentials. Grants worth up to £20,000 are available for eligible businesses.
The MEG project will build on the success of previous programmes such as MarRE fund and BEEP grant scheme. It is intended that the project will complement the Cool Shropshire & Telford platform and Herefordshire’s 30 for 2030. Previous EU funded schemes, have helped to identify potential financial savings of £1.8M, install over 2MW of renewable energy generation, and saved around 4,500tonnes of CO2e emissions from the Marches region. These have seen a wide range of projects, including:
• Renewable energy systems, such as solar panels
• Lighting – including LED conversions, movement / light sensors
• Fast acting / roller doors
• Variable speed drives & compressors
• Electrification of plant & machinery
• Energy efficient equipment for process improvements
• Waste heat management systems
• Energy management system
• Heating (including heat pumps), insulation and double/triple glazing
• De-stratification fans
• Waste reduction and recycling measures