Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Suffolk: SABRE renewable energy project to help SMEs is hailed a success

09:00 26 August 2014

From left, SABRE event speakers David Walton, Ben Coulter, Matt Hullis, Julian Colman and Becky Hopfensperger
 outside Seckford Hall.
Photograph James Fletcher

From left, SABRE event speakers David Walton, Ben Coulter, Matt Hullis, Julian Colman and Becky Hopfensperger outside Seckford Hall. Photograph James Fletcher

Archant

A three-year project to help businesses in Suffolk make informed decisions on potential investment in “green” energy has been hailed as a success.

Support and Advice to Businesses around Renewable Energy (SABRE) involved a partnership between Groundwork Suffolk and Suffolk County council on behalf of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, and was part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

It offered small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in Suffolk independent and impartial support and advice on investment opportunities created by the Government’s Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive schemes.

A total of 120 businesses around the county have received advice, enabling many of them to invest with the confidence that their spend will bring long-term benefits to their bottom line as well as to the environment.

Welcoming representatives from many of the businesses involved to a celebration event marking the end of the project, Beccy Hopfensperger, county council cabinet member for localities and environment, said that economic growth was a key priority for the authority. Sustainable development was a important element within this and, with most businesses in the county being SMEs, it was important for support to be made available.

Matt Hullis, the council’s head of environment strategy, said that although the target of 120 firms represented only a small proportion of the 31,00 businesses in the county, the aim was to use their progress to promote the potential benefits more widely.Initiatives supported by the project were expected to result in combined cost savings of at least £17million over the next 15 to 20 years, and to reduce carbon emissions by around 4,000 tonnes, with further savings likely to arise during that time as conditions in the energy market changed.

“It makes Suffolk a more sustainable place to to business and protects us from some of the shocks we could feel as energy prices move up and down,” said Mr Hullis.

Among the Suffolk businesses involved in SABRE was Bury St Edmunds print and labelling company Denny Bros whose quality manager, Julian Colman, spoke about the financial benefits of the firm’s long-established drive to reduce its environmental impacts.

The project supported by SABRE led to the installation of a photovoltaic solar panel installation, completed in March this year, which has so far generated 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, about 11% of the company’s current needs, and was chosen as more cost-efficient than potential investment in wind power or biomass.

Other speakers at the breakfast-time event, held at Seckford Hall, near Woodbridge, included Ben Coulter, SABRE adviser from Groundwork Suffolk, who outlined the support provided to the participating businesses, and David Walton, programme manager for the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, who highlighted the range of ongoing support still availble through other initiatives.

Mr Coulter said the approach had very much been one of “horses for courses”, with the potential benefit of the different technologies varying from one business to another.

Among the ongoing initiatives highlighted by Mr Walton were the Suffolk Carbon Charter accreditation scheme, the Creating the Greenest County Awards, and funding streams including Grants4Growth, the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, the West Suffolk Greener Business Grant scheme, the East Coast Carbon Efficiency (ECCE) project and Low Carbon KEEP.

Groundwork Suffolk’s own environmental business adviser service would also incorporate elements of the SABRE project going forward, he added.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The man whose body was found beside the River Orwell near Ipswich railway station has been named locally as Wayne Hughes.

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing a 25-year-old woman from Felixstowe.

A bonanza of talent burst onto the stage at the Regent Theatre last night at the Ipswich Has Got Talent ‘champions of champions’ competition.

Four fire crews tackled a tree and grass fire in Wherstead Road in Ipswich today which is thought to have been started deliberately.

This palace was more ‘bling’ than Versailles. So why don’t we all know about it?

One of Suffolk’s best-known and most prominent landmarks has been put up for sale with a price tag of £5million.

A coastal resort is to lose its Tourist Information Centre – because it is not being used enough.

Stopping a particularly high spring tide from flooding Ipswich is, on paper, relatively simple, writes John Norman, of The Ipswich Society.

A nine-year-old boy from Suffolk is preparing to fly to Rome for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – where he will sing for the Pope.

A 62-year-old motorcyclist who died at the scene of a two vehicle collision near RAF Barnham on Thursday has been named as Peter Hancock from Sudbury.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24