Government Energy Saving Advice Service delivered by local charity – Business support
Does your business utilise lots of energy? Do you want to increase your customer base through green credentials? Are you generally keen to do your bit to reduce the counties industry environmental impact whilst contributing to the local economy?
The Cornwall Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EEAC), part of a national government service and managed by Cornish energy charity Community Energy Plus, can connect you to the best person in the CEP Business Advice Team to deal with your business needs.
Community Energy Plus has been providing advice since 1998 providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for environmental business support and accreditation. Business advisors deliver a selection of environmental schemes which include; Envision, Environmental Management Training, Green Tourism Business Scheme and Wood Fuels South West Advice Service.
The different schemes are based around training, accreditation and consultation services:
Envision Cornwall is a group of Environmental Business Mentors providing advice to small and medium enterprises on ways to reduce energy, waste, water usage and costs and improve the companies environmental credentials. The mentors visit your company, discusses your individual needs and look for potential areas for savings.
Environmental Management Training scheme is a 5 day course run in partnership with Cornwall College Business to improve environmental management within the work place and work towards an ISO1400 international accreditation standard.
The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) the largest and most successful environmental accreditation body of tourism related businesses in Europe. Mentors assist businesses to reach the levels to gain bronze, silver and gold awards.
The Wood Fuel South West Advice Service is a new initiative to provide free technical advice, support and grant aid to householders, communities and businesses for smaller scale wood heating proposals in the SW region.
As well as bio-energy, the EEAC can provide free information on other renewable energy technologies including; small scale wind turbines, ground source heat pumps, solar hot water and electricity plus information on the grants available for installing these technologies.
Falmouth Town Council
Mark Williams ACIS
Town Clerk, Falmouth Town Council
Falmouth Town Council serves the south coast resort town from Maenporth to Ponsharden incorporating the urban area, dockyard, Pendennis headland and coastline, with a resident population of 20,000, increasing student population and huge influx of visitors during an extending holiday season. There are 16 Councillors serving four Wards. There are 12 staff and numerous contractors and volunteers.
“The Town Council has been assisting community work on becoming a transition town and, as it is recommending environmental best practice, felt it was incumbent to have an environmental audit undertaken on its main building.
We contacted Community Energy Plus to help us achieve this. Following a site inspection by a business advisor an environmental audit report was prepared. The report recommendations were adopted formally by the Council and will be actioned where and when appropriate by the Building Committee.
These practical changes will reduce energy consumption and emissions and make the Council’s main administrative function and the Art Gallery more sustainable. The Council would like to thank Howard Martin of Community Energy Plus for his assistance with the report.”
Budock Vean Hotel
Martin Barlow, Director
Budock Vean is a 4-star country hotel set in 65 acres in the Helford Estuary catering for 130 customers. A Family run business, the company employs up to 80 employees and is engaged in ‘high-end’ and ‘sustainability’ led tourism activities.
“The hotel has been put through environmental schemes Envision and GTBS. The mentor provided a baseline audit and highlighted potential financial savings in terms of energy, water and waste. The company provided BS8555 environmental training and assisted with the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBA) accreditation. The mentor developed an innovative in-vessel composting scheme to direct food waste from landfill and advised on possible funding and financial schemes for improvements.”
“All grounds and golf course managed organically using organic fertiliser and mycorizzal fungi treatment regime. This has reduced water consumption for irrigation and increased biodiversity of the estate. Water saving measures have been introduced, including rainwater and swimming pool back wash reuse, saving the company up to £4,000 per year.”
“I believe that environmental good practice can and should go hand in hand with growing profits and the best way to achieve it is to take it in small incremental steps, involving as many of your staff as you can so the task is shared and becomes imbedded in everything your company does, and is not seen as some special, discrete project.”
Halvasso Tea Rooms, Constantine
“A few years ago I realised that the size of my farm was uneconomical.
I therefore applied for planning permission to build a Tea-room with an associated Nature Trail, as a farm diversification. At that time global warming wasn’t such an issue as it is today.
Having started the build, I thought it important to embrace new technologies to heat the building and produce hot water for the toilets and kitchen. I understood that there was grant aid available to help fund the purchase of new technologies, and in my case solar panels and a wood pellet boiler. I contacted an Envision mentor, who suggested I would be better served by the Green Business Tourism Scheme, and put me in contact with Andrew Walters who has helped me with completing grant aid forms.
I’m currently waiting to hear the decision from Low Carbon Buildings Program (Fingers Crossed), but in the meantime I have already decided to use LED lighting in the floor and elsewhere to highlight the architectural features of the building. The intention is to set it apart from other builds in style as well as with “Green” credentials.
I feel grant aid is important as it’s so easy and cheaper to use traditional (high carbon) sources. It’s also important to have a nil/low ‘carbon foot print’.
Call the Cornwall Energy Efficiency Advice Centre free on 0800 512 012 who will put you in touch with Business Advice Team to help your business save money and the environment.