Grants available to SME businesses to help cut energy investment costs

Date published: 04 November 2020

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Greater Manchester are being invited to apply for a grant which can help them save up to 50% of the capital needed for investments in energy efficiency.

With businesses continuing to change their working practices in response to the impact of Covid-19, many are anticipating higher energy bills this winter. Whether it’s due to longer operating hours on factory floors to allow for split shifts to accommodate social distancing, or the need to increase supplies of fresh air, as winter approaches even more businesses will need to turn up their heating and switch on lights earlier and for longer.

To help manage this, SMEs across Greater Manchester can access an Energy Efficiency Grant - to cover up to 50% of the costs needed - which could be worth between £1,000 and £12,500 per business, significantly reducing the investment payback times and helping each business to improve its environmental impact through a reduced carbon footprint.

The grants are being offered by GC Business Growth Hub, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and can go towards, for example, heating equipment upgrades, replacement motors and drives, LED lighting or other energy efficiency projects.

Local firms employing fewer than 250 people and with a turnover of less than £40m last year are eligible.

Waxed cotton and innovative textiles manufacturer British Millerain in Rochdale recently received an Energy Efficiency Grant that has helped it to save on overall costs for the business. 

Andy Wood, operations manager for British Millerain, said: “We had recently installed LED lighting in our new offices but didn’t realise how much more could be saved by upgrading the factory and warehouse lighting too, which also improved the working environment for staff.”

The grant is just one way in which the Hub’s Resource Efficiency service can help businesses save cash, reduce their impact on the environment, and increase their profitability.

Since 2015, more than 1,000 Greater Manchester businesses have received support from the Hub’s Resource Efficiency team and over 21,000 tonnes of annual CO2e (‘carbon dioxide equivalent’) savings have been made.

Matthew Whitworth, Environmental Business Advisor for GC Business Growth Hub, said: “These are challenging times for businesses and any opportunity to reduce energy consumption and make savings on overall costs should be seriously considered. 

“If you think your business might be eligible for our Energy Efficiency Grant it’s well worth taking five minutes to complete the short online form and make contact with our team who will advise on whether you qualify for support within 48 working hours.

“Our specialists are focused on helping SME businesses to make savings and cut carbon emissions, with our only agenda being to help businesses thrive and contribute towards Greater Manchester becoming one of the greenest places in Europe. If you think we can help you contribute towards these goals, please do get in touch.”

For more information and for businesses to access the short form to kick start their application, please visit: 

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