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The SME Energy Efficiency Scheme (SMEES) supports SMEs in the Tees Valley to reduce energy use, cut carbon emissions and save money, through access to a fully-funded energy efficiency audit and expert independent advice.

SMEES is part of the support on offer from Tees Valley Business, which is the Local Growth Hub for the Tees Valley established by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

A comprehensive onsite energy efficiency and renewable audit helps businesses to identify ways to save energy and money in their day-to-day operations.

What’s more, businesses with an idea for a project which would result in significant carbon savings could be eligible for a grant to claim back up to 45% of the upfront capital costs.

Example projects could include the installation of LED lighting, the upgrading to heat pumps or investments in renewable energy sources.

Local businesses can also access informative online factsheets and explainer videos to discover some of the most common energy efficiency and renewable improvements. This runs alongside regular CIBSE approved Continued Professional Development workshops on Easy Ways to Reduce Your Energy Costs and Environmental Impact.

One local business to recently benefit is Alexanders Motor Group, based in Thornaby-on-Tees.

Following an energy audit, a detailed reported identified areas where improvements could be made. This covered energy use for lighting and paint spraying operations, as well as the potential to install solar photovoltaics to convert sunlight into electricity.

The biggest immediate saving identified was to replace fluorescent lighting in the showrooms, workshops, and offices with LED lights. A swap estimated to save more than £4,500 per year in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5tCO2e per year.

SMEES aims to achieve annual carbon emissions savings of 990 tCO2e for Tees Valley SMEs by June 2023.

The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and is delivered by technical specialists Narec Distributed Energy.

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