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Barry Bassett of VMI saved money and energy through the council's smart business grants

Business served well by energy scheme

An Acton-based company has made cost savings and now uses less energy to power its computer servers thanks to a scheme run by Ealing Council.

VMI, which specialises in digital equipment for TV productions, applied for help to the council’s smart business grant scheme. The business was awarded a £2,000 grant to upgrade its existing computer servers to a single, more energy-efficient one.

No longer tangled up in high energy costs: Barry Bassett of VMI saved money and energy by replacing his servers through the council's smart business grants
No longer tangled up in high energy costs: Barry Bassett of VMI saved money and energy by replacing his servers through the council’s smart business grants

Barry Bassett, managing director of VMI, said: “I was really pleased to hear that Ealing Council was keen to promote energy efficiency through awarding grants. We applied to help us with an IT infrastructure upgrade which we wanted to do and which also promised energy savings too, so everyone would win.

“The application process was genuinely straight forward and an answer came back very quickly, too.

“Our idea was a large scale upgrade which enabled us to retire five servers and replace these with one ‘beefed-up’ server, which would not only save around 1KW of power but also an additional 1KW of cooling as well. The resulting infrastructure would also be much faster, more reliable and better in every way.

“Once the project completed at the end of spring this year, I was really pleased to discover that the energy savings created by retiring several servers are actually measurable and, comparing this June with the same month last year, saw us using around 14% less power at our HQ. This calculates to real cost savings and the generous grant awarded by Ealing Council made the full IT upgrade much easier to justify.”


Small to medium businesses in the borough can apply for the council’s smart business grants. They can apply if they have identified a specific energy saving project, or have obtained a free energy survey from The Carbon Trust (which can be called on 020 7832 4773).

Once the grant application form is successfully completed, a support package of up to 50% of costs may be made available, with the remainder match-funded by the business. The minimum grant awarded is £1,000 and the maximum £5,000.


Register an interest and find out more by visiting www.ealing.gov.uk/sbg or by emailing businessenergy@ealing.gov.uk

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