A social enterprise is launching a new service in Oxfordshire designed to help local businesses undertake energy efficiency work, but which struggle to find the time outside of their day-to-day activities and have concerns about upfront costs.
This project aims to make things simple, and to remove financial risk with finance opportunities and guaranteed savings.
The Low Carbon Hub project in Oxfordshire forms part of a wider project, led by EnergyPro. A group of leading energy experts, EnergyPro believe that the best way to engage SMEs with energy efficiency work is through equipping local, community-based organisations with the ability deliver energy efficiency projects, based on internationally established good practice. EnergyPro is working to develop this toolkit, or ‘operating system’, with the aim of rolling it out on a National scale.
Oxfordshire will be the pilot area, which is where the Low Carbon Hub come in – supporting delivery. This will involve the creation of a new company in Oxfordshire during 2020, a Community Energy Service Company (CESCO), hosted by the Low Carbon Hub, which will begin serving local SMEs immediately.
This CESCO will help businesses to identify areas where they could improve energy efficiency, and therefore cut their energy costs – led by the team at Oxford Brookes University. It will also deliver these measures, using tried and tested installers (with financing options available for SMEs which do not have available capital) and measure and verify the savings created by these measures.
If successful, EnergyPro ultimately plan to license this ‘operating system’ to community-based organisations in communities across the UK which can serve SMEs in their local area. This will create a national network of ‘one-stop-shops’, supporting SMEs with energy efficiency.
Alex Rathmell, Managing Director of EnergyPro, said: “This business model aims to prove that a local, trusted organisation can successfully deliver energy efficiency services to SMEs provided they are equipped with the right toolkit: standardised project development process, vetted technology partners and contractor, guaranteed savings and suitable finance.” –
Barbara Hammond MBE, CEO of Low Carbon Hub, added: “To drastically reduce our carbon emissions, we must quickly address the high energy usage of our buildings – increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy demand. We are thrilled to be a partner on this innovative project, supporting Oxfordshire SMEs to implement energy efficiency measures, reducing their costs and carbon emissions.”