Thanks to new heating and lights installed through a council grant, a nursery is expected to make huge energy savings, of up to 75%.
Cybertots (On the Green), in West Ealing, took up the offer after it received an email from Ealing Council. It changed lights in its buildings from fluorescent bulbs to more energy-efficient LED ones; and also updated its heating from a combination of storage heaters and oil filled standing heaters to infrared panels.
In one of the buildings, the entire installation of infra-red panels uses the power equivalent of just one oil filled radiator.
The council’s smart business grant covered half the cost of the changes, which were recommended by a consultant who carried out a review of the nursery.
It meant the nursery paid the other half of the total amount, plus VAT, which saved the business close to £5,000.
“We absolutely could not afford it otherwise,” said Martin Ozols, a director at Cybertots.
“We are really proud of the new installation. It will cut costs and our carbon footprint and is a vast improvement on what we had previously – which has been a real help in all this cold weather we have been having.”
The bonus of changing to ceiling-mounted infrared panels has the added benefit of freeing up floor and wall space, allowing staff and the children more room for activities.
“Being a children’s nursery, care of the environment and making the world a better and cleaner place for the future is something close to our hearts,” Martin said.
The grant is not just about saving money for the business, it is also about teaching ways to save energy consumption and encouraging to make more improvements in the future.
“We would love to undertake further measures to cut our energy usage in future,” said Martin. “When funds permit, we would like to look at changing our windows for double glazed.
“The new set up means that we have additional flexibility in the space available as well as space for resources for our staff and children, enabling us to further improve the quality of our service, and so that we can build on our OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ rating.”
Interested? This is how the scheme works
It all starts with a business identifying energy saving measures within their own operations such as space heating, lighting, equipment and hot water. If businesses need help with identifying measures the Carbon Trust provides free surveys.
Once a series of measures has been identified, 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.
All types of small and medium sized businesses can apply and benefit from the smart business grant.
So far, businesses as diverse as glass manufacturers, co-working hubs and audio visual rental companies have successfully applied.
Businesses can also apply for the Carbon Trust Green Business Fund, in conjunction with the Smart Business Grant, which could take the total grant funding secured up to 65% of the total capital project costs.