A project offering advice and grant support is celebrating its success after helping 161 businesses across Worcestershire to become more energy efficient.
Worcestershire County Council, in partnership with Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, was awarded £726,000 of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) for the Resource Efficient Worcestershire project.
The project began in July 2012 and was originally scheduled to close in June 2015. However a successful bid for additional funding meant Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce were able to extend the scheme until September 2015.
The purpose of the project was educate and enable small and medium enterprises to improve their energy and water efficiency, waste reduction and profitability whilst also reducing CO2 emissions.
During the three years of the project, 161 businesses across Worcestershire were provided with free resource efficiency assessment reviews to identify potential improvements. A grant programme was then made available to help businesses introduce recommendations.
90% of businesses acting on the report recommendations reduced their overall energy consumption, despite the majority seeing increases in production and turnover. Overall CO2 emissions of those participating have been reduced by over 1500 tonnes.
A total of £430,000 grant funding was provided. Businesses that received grants reduced their energy consumption by an average of 24%.
Examples of grant investment measures included: energy efficient lighting and heating, boilers, air compressors, gas ovens, waste recycling balers, double glazing, loft insulation, voltage optimisation; variable speed drives for machinery and energy efficient machinery.
Cllr Anthony Blagg, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Chairman of the Resource Efficient Worcestershire Project Board, said: "It's great to see the project has been such a success and that so many local businesses have benefitted from becoming more resource efficient. As well as reducing their environmental impact, we have clear evidence that participating businesses can achieve increased profits and a better competitive advantage.
"To build on our success and to assist more businesses, we have applied for further ERDF funding and hope to launch a new three year project in early 2016. Businesses who would like to register their interest can do so online now."
To find out more about the Resource Efficient Worcestershire project and hear how local businesses have benefitted, go to www.business-central.co.uk/REW. To be informed of future funding news, email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource Efficient Worcestershire is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.