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Matt Cribb, business owner, who has benefited from the council's smart business grants

Smart energy scheme could help your business

Meet Matt Cribb. He is one of the business owners in the borough to have taken advantage of a smart energy scheme run by the council to help reduce costs and improve efficiency – while also cutting the borough’s carbon footprint.

“It was a very simple process, and took up very little time,” said Matt (pictured).

Freeform Design and Constructions Ltd in Acton was made aware of how to reduce its energy costs thanks to Ealing Council’s smart business grants, which small and medium businesses in the borough can apply for.

“Reviewing efficiency is a constant business necessity, and to have external help and funding to achieve it is a real bonus,” Matt said.

Before a letter was sent to Matt’s company outlining the opportunity, he had little knowledge of how much money he could save by making a few small adjustments in his warehouse in Acton.

The company builds sets and scenery for TV and film – work that principally involves woodwork carpentry and painting. It undertook a council-commissioned energy survey, which led to a report .

“The council’s energy survey and report identified a number of savings that could be made, and upgrading the lighting was one of the principal areas where those savings could be achieved,” Matt explained. “Others include fitting solar panels and changes to waste management, both of which we are still considering. Other machinery is routinely upgraded, for example we have purchased a new table saw that is more energy efficient than the older model we used.”

Both the survey and report estimated new LED lighting would halve the consumption for lighting the workshop, which is now being seen in the reduced electricity bills.

How does Matt plan to further reduce his electricity bill?

“Solar panels look like a good option,” he said. “Wood waste management is an area we may also be able to improve.”

Businesses in the borough are encouraged to contact the council apply for the grant, which aims to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy bills.

How does the scheme work?

It all starts with a business identifying energy saving measures within their own operations such as 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 staircase manufacturers, co-working hubs and fish and chip shops have successfully applied.

More information

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

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