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£960,000 energy savings for 83 companies helped by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Businesses could save on average more than £11,500 per year on their energy bills thanks to the Clean Growth Grant from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

In total, 83 local companies have the potential to see combined bills reduced by more than £960,000 per annum.

The grant scheme offered businesses grants of up to £10,000, or up to 70% of the total cost towards energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures. The remaining funds were provided by the businesses themselves.

Amongst the firms to benefit was Andel Plastics Ltd, based in Tyseley in Birmingham, who deliver toolmaking and injection moulding services for the plumbing, automotive and medical sectors. Andel Plastics received a £7,000 grant to fit specialised, insulated jackets to eight of their injection moulding machines.

Helena Flowers, Managing Director of Andel Plastics, commented: “Without the Clean Growth Grant we would not have been able to install the insulated jackets. The GBSLEP were extremely helpful and talked us through the application process to ensure we provided all the documentation we needed.

“The projected cost savings of £4,200 per year and significant decrease in energy usage means that we can now take the next step in our energy reduction strategy. The next phase will see us installing energy monitoring devices to our equipment so we can monitor and improve our technology and processes.”

Other measures implemented included solar panels, LED lighting, air source heat pumps, insulation, heating controls and improvements to industrial processes.

Henriette Breukelaar, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Businesses told us how they had been impacted by rising energy costs, high inflation and supply chain issues. GBSLEP acted swiftly on this feedback and put together the Clean Growth Grant programme. The overwhelming demand for the grants shows how important energy savings are to local businesses, and shows they are willing to make investments to becoming more sustainable.

“The Clean Growth Grant has now come to an end, but businesses can still access free sustainability consultancy and decarbonisation support, as well as more general business support, from our GBSLEP Growth Hub. I urge anyone in need of support and guidance to get in touch. It’s vital we support local businesses to grow and achieve their aspirations.”

Analysis of the energy and cost savings showed that efficiencies across all businesses could equate to a total reduction of more than 740 tonnes of annual carbon emissions.

Family-run electrical control panel manufacturer Industrial Switchgear Ltd, based in Redditch, Worcestershire, benefitted from a £5,800 Clean Growth Grant for energy saving LED lighting and replacement windows.

LED lights replaced fluorescent bulbs across the company’s 3,900 sq ft workshop. New infrared sensors were introduced to increase energy efficiency, with three windows replaced to preserve heat and offer improved security. Industrial Switchgear is now estimated to save up to 30% on energy costs per annum.

Industrial Switchgear Ltd commercial director David Lincoln-Lewis commented: “The volatility of energy prices, the cost-of-living increases and navigating the business post Covid-19 meant that although replacing our lighting was high on our agenda, we would not have been able to fund the work without the support of the Clean Growth Grant.

“As a business that designs and builds electrical control panels, saving our customers money and energy is at our core. The funding enabled us to extend our corporate social responsibility credentials by ensuring our own premises are more energy efficient.”

The GBSLEP grants, which totalled £625,215, were available to projects of any size, regardless of the level of savings projected. Each company provided £1.55 of match funding for every £1 of grant received.

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