A scheme to encourage businesses in Manchester's Northern Quarter to save money and reduce their carbon footprint is being extended to the rest of the city centre.
Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary for State for Energy and Climate Change, launched a pilot scheme in February, known as the Smarter project.
As from next Tuesday, businesses across the city can receive a free Smarter energy monitor device from the project's delivery agency, the Commission for the New Economy in partnership with the Environment Commission, and become part of the Smarter low carbon business club.
Funded by the North West Development Agency's carbon challenge fund and Manchester City Council, Smarter enables businesses to see their electricity use and allows them to identify how to use their energy more efficiently, lower their bills and provide the opportunity to compare their energy use with similar businesses.
The NWDA said that by installing a Smarter energy monitor it will automatically award businesses with a bronze award from Manchester City Council's environmental pledge scheme, providing them with yet another opportunity to demonstrate their green credentials.
Nick Uttley, The Commission for New Economies delivery manager for Smarter, said that businesses fitted with a energy monitor should not only save money they will also benefit from being part of the community that will attract clients and customers who value environmental responsibility.
Uttley said: "As a member of Manchester's Smarter business club, members can share their experiences of implementing energy efficiency measures as a result of installing the monitors and understanding individual appliances usage. It will provide them with the means to combine their purchasing powers and possibly negotiate cheaper and even greener energy tariffs with their suppliers."
Uttley added that the long-term aspirations for the project were for businesses to plan for the future and investigate the possibility of implementing renewable energy at their premises.
Dan Griffiths, head of climate change at the NWDA, said: "The Smarter project is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can work together to prepare for a low carbon future. The NWDA has supported this project as part of the Northwest Climate Change Action Plan to ensure that the region is taking a leading role in tackling climate change, through adopting new and innovative ways to reduce emissions."
Those companies interested in receiving a free Smarter energy monitor, which operate from a city centre location with a broadband connection, are invited to drop in to the Smarter event at The Cornerhouse Café on Oxford Road between 2pm and 7pm on Tuesday 20 July. The drop-in event will give businesses the chance to meet the Smarter development team, see the monitor in action and take away a free kit to install.
- For further information contact Nick Uttley at the Commission for the New Economy on 0161 237 4157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org