Switch on, power down – Barrow Businesses Beat Bills

1. Offer

On behalf of Barrow Borough Council we’re offering free support to SMEs in the Barrow area to help them reduce their carbon emissions.

Benefiting from fully funded, one-to-one support, ten businesses will get a carbon footprint calculation and a building energy audit. They’ll also benefit from an environmental impact audit and get recommendations for reducing energy use, renewable energy generation and other top tips to reduce the business’s carbon footprint.

To help us understand the nature of the businesses, including aspirations and challenges, the one-to-one support will start with an on-line meeting with one of our advisors.  We’ll then collect information to be able to calculate a carbon footprint, and give access to the on-line CAfS carbon footprint calculator, to enable businesses to update their information and keep tabs on their carbon footprint in the future.

Once the carbon footprint calculation is complete, one of our energy auditors will visit in person to carry out an energy audit of the premises. This will look at the construction of the building, the energy systems in place, and potential for renewable energy generation. The findings from the audit will be captured in a report, alongside recommendations for reducing energy use.

We’ll follow up with an on-line meeting to understand the businesses broader environmental impacts, for example, from transportation or use of materials, and will help develop an action plan to tackle them.

Lastly, we will reconvene to discuss our recommendations. The audits and recommendations will then be combined in an overall report which will be provided to each of the businesses.

2. Eligibility

To be eligible, businesses need to:

  • Be classed as a micro, small or medium-sized business (see definition here)
  • Be private sector business
  • Have a business address that is within Barrow Borough Council
  • Have the authority from the business owner to participate in the programme
  • Commit to engaging with us within the timescales

We’re afraid that we’re not able to support businesses in farming, fishing or financial services, franchises or businesses who are part of a chain. We may not be able to support organisations who already have a building energy audit, depending on the timing and extent of the audit, or those who’ve previously benefitted from a Low Carbon Barrow Grant. This support, worth £3,000, is covered by the De Minimis Regulation, which limits the amount of state aid a business can receive to 200,000 euros over a rolling three tax year period.

3. Selection criteria

  • Eligible businesses will be selected on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis until all places are filled.
Graphic showing business illustration

4. Funding

This project receives funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and Cumbria Local Economic Partnership Growth Deal programme. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations

5. Timescales

We know that all businesses are pushed for time and can’t drop everything to focus on this issue alone. So, please indicate on the application form your preferred period of working with us between September 2022 and March 2023, and we will endeavour to accommodate your preference.

We will generally allow a two-month period to work with you so that you have time to digest recommendations and interact with our advisors at a manageable pace.

6. How to apply

Please complete the application form and email this document to [email protected] 

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