Opening the Low Carbon Workspaces event at The Black Country Living Museum, 13 November, the Mayor of Dudley, Cllr Alan Taylor said :
“Anyone that pays for an energy bill at home or for their business knows how much energy costs are rising. In the Black Country we are renowned for being at the forefront of manufacturing, a naturally energy intensive sector. Can we afford, both financially and environmentally, not to take control of our energy usage?”
The Mayor encouraged over 50 local businesses who attended the event to take advantage of funding and support available for SMEs, such as the £5,000 grants from Low Carbon Workspaces for projects to cut energy costs and emissions, and improve the natural environment for all.
He explained “All four local authorities in the Black Country have declared their respective areas as 'Air Quality Management Areas' in order to redress levels of CO2, nitrogen dioxide and other harmful gases. These gases are directly linked to 40,000 premature deaths per year in the U.K.”
Businesses were treated to an exclusive tour of The Black Country Living Museum with Operations Manager Jonathan White; to view first-hand how the museum is reducing its carbon footprint and minimising its energy costs whilst preserving the area's industrial heritage. They’ve introduced LED lighting, achieved zero waste-to-landfill and are migrating heating systems away from oil.
Business energy experts ProEnviro Ltd also outlined a number of practical steps that attendees could undertake at their own premises to reduce energy costs, highlighting the importance of monitoring consumption to identify the best opportunities for savings.
Daniel Cope, Project Officer and Energy Advisor at Low Carbon Workspaces explained how businesses could receive up to £5,000 grant funding for energy saving projects. He said “We know local businesses are keen to lower their energy bills but upfront costs often stand in the way. The grant funding and advise available is designed to make it as easy and affordable as possible for businesses to identify and implement energy saving solutions.
A Low Carbon Workspaces grant can help fund projects such as LED lighting, energy efficient boilers, insulation and double glazing, . Grants can also be used to overcome the upfront costs of energy efficient equipment such as compressors, printers or even electric cars.”
He added “Thanks to our partners at The Black Country Growth Hub and The Black Country Chamber of Commerce for spreading the word about the grant, over 50 Black Country businesses have now been awarded funding, and are looking forward to combined projected savings of £114,880 and 2,249,445 kWh- equivalent to approximately 150 homes’ annual energy use!.”