UMi helps provide nearly £500,000 in grants to support businesses with rising energy costs

148 businesses have benefitted from the joint efforts of UMi and West Yorkshire Combined Authority as part of the Energy Efficiency Grant Scheme, set up in response to the increasing rise of energy costs. 

With rising energy prices being a significant driving factor of the cost of trading crisis, a support scheme was launched in December 2022 to provide relief to businesses in the West Yorkshire region. 

The scheme offered businesses across all sectors the opportunity to invest in several different activities that would reduce their energy costs. This could include installing LED lighting, solar panels, and upgrades to electrical equipment, amongst other things. 

The fund could provide companies a reimbursement of 50% of their spend, up to a maximum of £5000.  

While nothing could be done directly about prices, investments in premises and encouraging changes in behaviour could pay off long term, easing the squeeze felt by companies over time. 

UMi managed the project on behalf of the Combined Authority. After a surge of inquiries upon the scheme’s announcement, 148 businesses received support with their investments.  

The final sum of relief totalled £497,411.56, highlighting the need for this grant by businesses across West Yorkshire. 

Funding was used for various types of activities. 46% of payments were for LED lighting, making it the largest contribution of requests. The second highest investment was in boilers, contributing to 17% of requests, and the lower end of the spectrum consisting of windows and air conditioning, contributing to 3% and 1% of claims respectively. 

This tracks with current research, as switching to LED bulbs is one of the easiest ways to improve energy efficiency. They are up to 65% more efficient that standard lighting. 

Likewise, heating and cooling can have a significant impact on energy costs, so investing in a low carbon heating solution was a likely priority. 

Lesley Vaughan, Project Manager at UMi said: “It’s been brilliant working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to provide much needed support for businesses across the region. 

“It’s been a challenging business landscape in recent times, with rising energy costs being just one obstacle that companies have had to navigate. Being part of a project that has provided relief to these businesses has been a rewarding experience for the entire team, and I’m pleased there has been a scheme like this out there that can help provide a long-term solution. 

“Although this project has come to an end there is still lots of other support businesses can access, so I would encourage anyone looking to do more to get in touch with the team at UMi.” 

For more information and resources on energy efficiency and low carbon business, as well as a range of other topics to help you go further, head to UMi Sat Nav.