Low Carbon Programme for SMEs from East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

A £6m European funded programme is committed to the provision of a fully funded suite of services for SME’s based in Lancashire, aimed to help businesses improve energy and environmental efficiencies, introduce on site renewable energy generation and save money.

Saving energy is one of the easiest ways to cut business costs
Saving energy is one of the easiest ways to cut business costs

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce is working in partnership with Businesswise Solutions Ltd and Boost to support Lancashire businesses in going green and reducing their carbon footprint.

Businesses looking to reduce their energy costs can access a fully funded energy and environmental review to identify opportunities to improve both energy and resource efficiency through the Chamber Low Carbon programme. As well as a own team of advisors the Chamber has access to over 20 additional advisors and technical experts and assess your specific needs.

The review will also include a calculation of the company’s carbon footprint and a prioritised action plan. The review can be modified to include a carbon reduction plan in line with the Government’s Procurement Policy Note 6/21 to assist businesses bidding for public sector contracts or Frameworks .

A fully funded energy and environmental review to identify opportunities to improve both energy and resource efficiency

Saving energy is one of the easiest ways to cut business costs. Even making small changes to the way that your business uses energy can mean big savings.

To help you start saving money in your business, here are some top tips for no-cost and low-cost energy efficiency measures which are easy to carry out.

1. Involve your staff

The most effective energy saving programmes involve everybody within a business. Savings of five to ten per cent are common - often through employees suggesting and implementing the measures detailed.

Try to reduce heating temperatures in the winter by one degree, as this can cut your heating bill by up to eight per cent.

2. Control your heating

Try to reduce heating temperatures in the winter by one degree, as this can cut your heating bill by up to eight per cent. Conversely, in summer, increase the set point for your air conditioning. Ensure that thermostats are accurate by positioning them away from draughts and direct sunlight.

3. Avoid wasting heat

Keep doors and windows closed when heating or air conditioning is running. Fitting draught excluders and making sure your premises are well insulated should be very cost effective, with short payback times.

4. Minimise artificial lighting

By keeping windows and skylights clean, you can cut the amount you spend on lighting. If you are only working in one part of a room, isolate the lights to that area only. Make sure switches are labelled so staff only turn on the lights they need. You could also consider installing presence and daylight sensors to turn the lights on and off automatically.

5. Switch off office equipment

A single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day can cost over £50 a year. Switching it off out of hours and enabling standby features can reduce this to £15 a year. You could also fit seven-day timers to ensure equipment like printers, copiers and water chillers are turned off overnight and at weekends.

6. Compress your air costs

Compressed air is often generated at maximum pressure. Reducing pressure by ten per cent can lead to five per cent savings in energy. Make small, incremental reductions, checking that operations aren't affected. Also, regularly test for and fix leaks - even a tiny leak could cost you more than £700 a year in wasted energy.

7. Don't forget about motors

Because motors are hidden within machinery, they are often forgotten and left running when not in use. Save energy by identifying and turning off motors during breaks or job changes. To make further savings, motors driving pumps and fans can often be controlled with 'variable speed drives' .

8. Shut the cold room door

On average, it will cost you £4 every hour a freezer door stays open. For refrigerated cabinets, consider fitting low cost PVC curtains or night blinds.

9. Maintain your equipment

One common factor across all the measures above is the need to maintain your equipment to make sure it's operating efficiently. This can range from cleaning light fittings and windows, to keeping ventilation and compressed air filters clean, to checking door seals and repairing holes and leaks.

10. Measure your savings

Make sure you read your meters regularly. This will enable you to identify how your company is using energy and where it's being wasted.

For further advice call the Chamber Low Carbon Team on 01254 356487 or email [email protected] Read more about the project here