European funding is available but ‘BEE’ quick.

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Businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk can ‘BEE’ greener and save money for free, thanks to this latest project. European funding was approved just in the nick of time to help Norfolk and Suffolk businesses become greener and cut their energy costs.

The project BEE Anglia is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered across the region through a partnership of Groundwork, Norfolk County Council, NWES and Suffolk County Council.

The project has three core offers that have been designed to help our businesses reduce carbon and save money using independent advice, funding and recognition for their efforts.

To date the project has reviewed 38 organisations and identified cost savings of £770,574 (£20,278 per business), and carbon savings of 13,997.7t (368.4t per business).  The savings identified are the equivalent of 4,160 flights from London to Sydney.

The project provides businesses with a free energy efficient audit from an independent source. This allows business owners and managers to discuss technologies and opportunities from energy efficient lighting to bio-mass boilers and even new bits of equipment or kit that could save the business money and energy. Companies who have already started to go through this process have enjoyed benefitting from the independent and expert viewpoint that is not biased to one technology or another.

Tim Basey-Fisher from St. John’s Hall Storage in Beccles commented “Having a BEE Anglia advisor come to our business and take the time to understand our individual needs and requirements was very valuable; the report that they produced for us has enabled us to prioritise improvements to our premises that will have the most significant energy and cost savings and reduce our carbon footprint. The fact they could then help us with a grant towards this was a very welcome bonus.”

Grant funding is available towards a wide range of equipment and technologies, although the pot for this is limited and interest is expected to be high.

The BEE Anglia partnership is delighted to be working closely with the Carbon Charter. The Carbon Charter recognises environmental commitments and progress and has been specifically designed to be of practical benefit to businesses. Accreditation brings membership to the active Charter network, with extensive opportunities for sharing best practice and developing business contacts. Accreditation with the Carbon Charter usually comes at a cost but is fully funded through BEE Anglia.

Harry Haddaway from Woolley in Bury St Edmunds said “Gaining Gold Carbon Charter certification has been so beneficial to our business and has helped our customers and staff understand our commitment to being a greener business. The membership of the charter network has helped us learn from other businesses, introduced us to some great local businesses, and allowed us to share our knowledge and experience with the rest of the network. Woolley is committed to continually improving the integration of sustainability into our working environment and business practices and to promoting these as far as possible, the gold award shows us and our customers that we practice what we preach.”

Jamie Murphy, BEE Anglia Advisor based in Suffolk said "It's great to visit these organisations in the early stages to provide some advice, and to then guide them through the process of changing the way they work, often concluding with a successful grant application, and accreditation by the Carbon Charter - it's job satisfaction at its very best".

Audit Jamie and Louise