Aston University awarded nearly three million pounds to lead region-wide energy audit programme

  • The £2.93m contract is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero via the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)
  • The project will see the delivery of 1310 standard, and 120 high-intensity, audits
  • It’s part of a larger region-wide programme aimed at providing SMEs with audits and grants to be more green.

Aston University has signed a £2.93 million contract to carry out part of a Business and Energy Advisory Service (BEAS) initiative to help businesses become more energy efficient.

The contract is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero via the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Led by Professor Prasanta Dey and Dr Abed Alaswad, the project will see the delivery of 1310 standard, and 120 high-intensity, audits. Aston University, alongside partners Coventry City Council and the Black Country Industrial Cluster, will work collaboratively to support SMEs across the region in reducing their carbon footprint and energy bills with 4000 audits expected in total across the West Midlands.

The initiative is part of a larger region-wide programme aimed at providing SMEs with tailored energy audits and grants for implementing recommended changes. By engaging SMEs in energy efficiency strategies, the University and its partners aim to drive impactful reductions in carbon emissions while simultaneously bolstering economic resilience.

Prasanta Dey, professor in operations and information management at Aston Business School, said:

“This project solidifies Aston University’s commitment to driving impactful change in carbon reduction efforts.

“Through this partnership, we aim to empower SMEs with the tools and knowledge needed to embrace energy efficiency and contribute to a greener future.

“This collaboration not only underscores our commitment to sustainability but also highlights the pivotal role universities play in driving positive change within their communities.

“These projects serve as valuable opportunities for our students, particularly those in the MBA and MSc in sustainable engineering programmes, to gain real-world experience and contribute to meaningful initiatives.”

Dr Abed Alaswad, deputy head of Mechanical, Biomedical and Design Engineering Department at Aston University, said:

“In addition to providing tangible benefits to SMEs, the project aligns with the objectives of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which seeks to gather vital information on SMEs’ energy usage to inform policy decisions.

“By engaging with over 4000 SMEs across the wider West Midlands, the initiative aims to lay the groundwork for informed, evidence-based policies that support sustainable energy practices.”

Dr Jamie Elliott, Delivery Manager for Business at West Midlands Combined Authority, said:

“Through the Decarbonisation Net Zero Programme, we empower businesses to enact meaningful decarbonization and cost-saving transformations.

“With £4.5 million in grants available, funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we offer up to £100,000 in funding and up to 50% aid intensity.

“By leveraging energy efficiency assessments, businesses can access crucial recommendations for cost reduction, paving the way for grant applications to facilitate investments in sustainability measures.

“From upgrading lighting systems to optimizing heating and cooling, these grants convert sustainability goals into tangible outcomes.”

SMEs interested in participating in the energy audit programme, can visit the Decarbonisation Net Zero Programme to sign up and learn more about the available resources.

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