NW businesses encouraged to reduce energy costs

New Economy has launched a scheme aimed at small businesses across the North West that could reduce company energy bills by 16%.

The £1m project, known as ecoSMARTER, is part of a national initiative supported by Government, which is designed to help reduce energy costs.

New Economy, the strategic lead for economic growth in Greater Manchester, is leading on the project with partner support from local green business specialists and £500,000 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Businesses that sign up to the scheme will have a free electricity monitor installed which lets them monitor energy consumption online. They will also receive environmental support from a sustainability expert to help reduce carbon emissions.

A specialist consultancy will provide a carbon footprint calculation for participating businesses and environmental training for staff, leading to a environmental policy, an action plan and a green marketing strategy.

New Economy said the ecoSMARTER scheme was trialled earlier this year and the businesses which participated cut their energy bills by 16% following support from ecoSMARTER consultants.

The 16% energy saving was based on a study of 50 small to medium businesses which went through the first year of the certification programme.

On completion of the programme, businesses will also receive a Carbon Smart Certificate, which is a national certificate that highlights green success.

New Economy said the certificate is recognised by central and local government as evidence of environmental achievement within businesses' procurement procedures.

New Economy said the Carbon Smart certification normally costs £875, while other energy saving costs are £130, giving a total value for the support worth £1,005.

Mike Emmerich, chief executive of New Economy, said: "New Economy is committed to reducing costs and carbon emissions across the region. The ecoSMARTER scheme is a great way for small businesses to cut their excesses. However, it only has a limited number of places so I would encourage interested parties to get in touch as quickly as possible."

Small businesses based in the North West with ten employees or less are eligible to apply to the ecoSMARTER scheme.

  • For further information contact Nick Uttley on 0161 237 4630 or send an email to ecosmarter@carbonsmart.co.uk

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