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“Thank you very much for your support throughout this project, the lighting has made a great difference and we will also be saving money on our bills, so its win, win!”
Linda Baker, Westways Vending, Hailsham
Utilise Plus Event Report: ‘Know Your Energy’ Networking Breakfast, Burgess Hill
Delegates made their way to Burgess Hill for the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC’s ‘know your energy’ networking breakfast, with guest speakers each focussing on a different way in which organisations can review and reduce their energy use. This event was held as part of the SBP CIC’s Utilise Plus programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supports small and medium sized enterprises with reducing their costs and impact on the environment by saving energy.
The SBP CIC’s Jack Dale welcomed delegates with an overview of the services on offer through Utilise Plus. Whether organisations want to learn more at a networking event, assess their energy use with an energy audit, or put a plan into action with grant funding, Utilise Plus has something for everyone.
Jack then handed over to the first guest speaker, David Greenfield of SOENECS, who provides innovative, sustainable solutions to everyday business problems. David spoke about energy audits, which are impartial assessments of how energy is used in organisations via a bespoke ‘audit report’ outlining energy- and cost-saving recommendations. David identified four main reasons an organisation may want an audit, whether it’s to save money, to ‘go green,’ to comply with regulations, or to generally be a more efficient workplace. In addition to this, David provided some simple measures any organisation can take to start getting to grips with their energy use. These included switching computers into sleep mode when you’re away from your desk, having a smart meter installed, and adjusting thermostats, to name a few.
Next up was the SBP CIC’s Managing Director, Shelaine Siepel, who presented some Utilise Plus success stories. Shelaine explained how the SBP CIC has awarded 72 grants, delivered 26 energy audits, and organised 29 events since Utilise Plus launched in 2017. Park Cameras, a camera shop based in Burgess Hill, initially applied for an energy audit which was free of charge thanks to Utilise Plus. The audit report noted that while their premises had examples of good practice such as good insulation and solar panels on the roof, they could be saving even more energy by replacing their fluorescent lights with efficient LEDs and updating their air conditioning systems. Park Cameras subsequently applied for a Utilise Plus grant of just under £5,000 to help them install LEDs which will save them £5,000 each year by reducing their energy bills. With Utilise Plus coming to an end in September 2019, Shelaine emphasised the need to make the most of these free energy- and cost-saving services while they last!
The final guest speaker was Sal Mustafa of BOSS Energy Solutions, which provides Building Management Systems, or ‘BMS.’ Sal explained how, with Internet of Things technology, wireless sensors allow BMS to monitor all aspects of a building’s energy use in real-time so any anomalies can be easily pinpointed and rectified. With building’s being responsible for around 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, Sal noted the importance of keeping on top of your energy use, whether it’s for comfort, to save money, or to reduce your impact on the environment.
After the talks, delegates had plenty of time to network over refreshments. The event was well-received, with Mike Connick of Connick Tree Care calling it “friendly and well organised,” while Ian Skinner of Transport & Environmental Policy Research praised the “good presentations.”
This event was fully-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). At the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC, we love hearing about interesting venues, knowledgeable speakers, and enthusiastic event partners. If you’d like to work with us, please get in touch.