As the new year kicks off, Carbon Smart is heavily involved with an exciting new project which is both boosting the South East’s economy while reducing the carbon footprint of many businesses. Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) is an EU funded project, which enables SME’s to invest in energy efficiency opportunities.
The LoCASE programme is driven by a conglomerate of local bodies including East Sussex County Council and the Green Growth Platform who have secured £18.5 million in funding for carbon efficiency projects from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The LoCASE programme will provide a whole range of benefits by supporting low carbon projects, as it will stimulate a knock-on effect throughout the economy. By supporting businesses to install carbon efficient technologies, it enables businesses to grow while encouraging investment in new low carbon technologies. To understand the scale of the LoCASE programme, here are some key statistics on what the project will deliver through to 2019:
- Business support to 1,050 SMEs
- Cut emissions by 6,510 tCO2e
- Invest £18.5 million in businesses
- Introduce 80 new products
- Create 270 new jobs in the Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) Sector
- Encourage knowledge transfer across the region
Carbon Smart was selected by East Sussex County Council to deliver the LoCASE programme across East Sussex. As a result, our energy advisors are offering free energy audits across East Sussex, visiting a whole range of businesses looking to move forward in the envisaged low carbon economy. In the past couple of months, Carbon Smart has visited Breweries, Catteries, Printing companies, VW campervan restoration businesses and Village halls, to name but a few of the wide range of businesses we’re helping to secure funding for their energy efficiency project.
The LoCASE project represents a very positive move by the local councils involved to help local businesses in the area to execute projects that may have not been financially viable without the grant support. The maximum value of a grant awarded to a business is £10k, which would make up 40% of the total project value while the remaining 60% needs to be funded by the business. Eligible expenditure includes a massive list of potential upgrades including on site electricity generation, building upgrades, CAD software, and many more. As long as you can prove it will make a real difference to the businesses’ costs and carbon footprint, it may well be eligible for a LoCASE grant.
Similarly, LCEGS suppliers are eligible for the same grant funding to help promote and develop their goods and services. In addition, business support for the LCEGS suppliers is driven by the Green Growth Platform – a members organisation which supports businesses through industry experts, business advisors and leading academics.
Once a grant has been approved by the grant administrators, a business has a three-month window to install the recommended technology. Throughout the process, Carbon Smart is directly involved in identifying opportunities, securing funding and reviewing the final installation. Helping businesses to identify and install low carbon technologies has been a real privilege and what makes this project so exciting. LoCASE provides small & medium businesses an opportunity to achieve tangible results over a short space of time with ongoing support along the process.
If you have a business in East Sussex area and you’d like to join the LoCASE project, please give us a call 01323 790 030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.