AHDB News Summer 2019

FOR THE HORTICULTURAL INDUSTRY GrowSave News Summer 2019 Energy efficiency seems to be at the forefront of the Government’s mind at the moment, even before a state of climate emergency was declared at the beginning of May. A new consultation has been launched asking for evidence and thoughts about ways to support energy efficiency projects in the small and medium enterprise sector. The proposed schemes seek to help ensure energy efficiency projects are promoted without the barriers of finance or by improving the return on investment. Since they are targeted at reducing the energy consumption in buildings rather than manufacturing process, the horticulture sector should benefit when implemented. Any of the three proposals could help deliver energy efficiency projects; however, the most interesting one is the proposed energy efficiency project auctions. Under this proposal individuals with large projects or an organisation which bundles up a number of similar projects would be able to bid for funding on the basis of cost effectiveness and delivered energy efficiencies. These auction proposals would not be unique to the UK; as proposed they are based on similar schemes run successfully in Switzerland and Germany. The advantage of such an auction system is that it promotes innovation and ensures true cost effectiveness of delivery of savings. This system may be viewed with some suspicion by growers who have participated in similar auctions, such as Capacity Market or Contracts for Difference. However, although this scheme is new, it’s certainly better than what is currently available. We will report on the outcome of the consultation in due course. This call for evidence was prompted by an International Energy Agency report which addressed the concern that Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) lagged behind large businesses in respect of energy efficiency because of lack of information, technical expertise and funding. To counter this, it has been suggested that a successful programme for SMEs should include: 1. Good quality information 2. Using the capabilities of energy consultants and other experts 3. Good availability of finance options that are easy to access The schemes as proposed would certainly achieve the third requirement and because of the work here at GrowSave, we believe the horticultural sector will be ahead of general SMEs for the first two. New energy efficiency support schemes proposed ENERGY EFFICIENCY EDITION