This year Thameswey, through their Action Surrey project, have been offering free energy efficiency consultancy for SME businesses in the Woking Borough Council area. Energy efficiency is an increasingly important issue for smaller businesses and there are many ways in which substantial savings can be made as well as reducing carbon emissions.

This pilot has been funded by Thameswey Sustainable Communities Ltd in order to develop its energy efficiency consultancy services towards businesses, and to help Woking Borough Council make progress against its Woking 2050 sustainability strategy by lowering carbon emissions from local business and industry.

A total of 8 SMEs took part: A&T Automotive; Harvey Water Softeners; Homebeech House; Hurst Warne; T&G Engineering; Truffles; West Horsley Dairy; and Woking Print & Publicity Ltd (Woking Print). In each case, the site was visited, and energy data collected, analysed and profiled to allow Action Surrey to make recommendations as to how both SMEs can make CO2, financial and energy savings in the day to day running of their site.

The project has been successful in that it has helped Thameswey to better understand the energy efficiency opportunities that exist in businesses, as well as the barriers that exist and need to be overcome. The main opportunities identified include LED lighting and better management of HVAC systems, while the barriers appeared to be a lack of staff resources to tackle energy efficiency, issues around leases and tenancy agreements, and lack of upfront capital. Thameswey will use this learning to inform future development of related projects in Woking, and seek to build on the relationships that they have developed with the participating businesses.

In total, the project identified £57,600 of potential annual cost savings to businesses, reducing annual carbon emissions by 225 tCO2 per year. We believe this highlights the financial and environmental opportunity available to businesses. A couple of these businesses have already begun to realize some of these savings, and we are continuing to work with each organisation to increase this number.

To find out more about this, project, contact the Action Surrey team at info@actionsurrey.org, or call 0800 783 2503.