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Energy monsters belong in the past, thanks to scheme

Energy monsters belong in the past, thanks to scheme

March 4, 2019

A council scheme has helped local companies bite into their monstrous energy bills and slash their carbon footprint by the equivalent weight of eight Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs (whose footprints were pretty big, too).

So far, small and medium-sized businesses as diverse as glass manufacturers, co-working hubs and audio-visual rental companies have successfully applied for help from Ealing Council’s smart business grants.

It has seen them switch to LED lighting to cut their electricity consumption, install new lighting controls, add insulation, boilers, or solar PV panels.

In the three years since the grants started being offered in February 2016 up to the end of January 2019, 22 local companies have benefited.

Collectively, it is estimated they are saving 52 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions (the most infamous ‘greenhouse gas’) per year – the equivalent to the estimated weight of eight adult Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs.

And the companies are also feeling better financially, too. They are saving a total of almost £36,000 a year by becoming more energy efficient (using almost 300 megawatt hours less power per year).

‘The process was straight forward’

One organisation that recently benefited was the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice, based in Acton. The council gave it a grant worth £4,000 towards the total cost of upgrading its lighting to energy-efficient LED lighting – which came to £11,000.

Electrician replacing the lighting
Electrician replacing the lighting

St Sarkis Charity Trust, which helped establish the organisation, assisted with raising the remaining amount.

Misak Ohanian, chief executive officer, said: “The process was straight forward largely because of the officers at the council, who visited our office and discussed the options of improving our energy usage.

“I didn’t know the council could help businesses and organisations like ours; it was of great benefit. The change to LED lights has made the place a lot brighter which has improved the eyesight of some staff and makes our office more welcoming.

“The savings in our energy bill throughout a year should be as much as 20% and another big plus is reducing our carbon foot print.”

Some of the others over the years…

Others to benefit from the grants, which we have written articles on over the last three years, included: A co-working hub; a nursery; a lighting and staging company; a glass firm; a company that builds sets and scenery for TV and film; and a business providing digital equipment for TV productions.

This is how the scheme worked

First the business would identify energy-saving measures within their own operations, such as space heating, lighting, equipment and hot water. If businesses needed help with identifying these measures, the council provided a free survey.

Once a series of options were identified, a support package of up to 50% of costs could be made available, with the remainder match-funded by the business. The minimum grant awarded was £1,000 and the maximum £5,000.

Businesses were also able to apply for the Carbon Trust Green Business Fund in conjunction with the Smart Business Grant, which could take the total grant funding secured to up to 65% of the total capital project costs.