Oxfordshire is to act as the pilot area for a wider project led by EnergyPro, seeking to launch an energy efficiency service for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
On 17 March, it was confirmed that the Low Carbon Hub will bring a service to the country, helping SMEs who were noted as often wanting to undertake energy efficiency work, but are unable to find the time and have concerns over upfront costs. The Low Carbon hub is to support delivery in Oxfordshire, with this involving the creation of a new company in the country – a Community Energy Service Company (CESCO) – which it will host.
CESCO will begin to serve local SMEs immediately upon creation. This will involve helping businesses to identify areas where they could improve energy efficiency, subsequently cutting costs, before delivering these measures, using tried and tested installers, with there being financing options available for SMEs without available capital. After this, CESCO will measure and verify savings created by these measures.
EnergyPro, leading the wider project, believe that the best way to engage SMEs with energy efficiency work comes through trusted, local support. It will look to equip local community-based organisations with the knowledge and tools to deliver energy efficiency projects for SMes, based on internationally established good practice. It is working on developing a toolkit – or “operating system” – for this, with the objective of rolling it out on a national scale. Should the service prove successful in Oxfordshire, then EnergyPro plan to license the “operating system” to community-based organisations across the UK who are able to serve SMEs in their local area, creating a national network of “one-stop-shops”, supporting SMEs with energy efficiency.