Brought to you by the North East Local Authorities
BEST is an energy efficiency improvement project, funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the North of Tyne Combined Authority as the lead authority. Delivered by local Councils, BEST aims to reduce energy use and costs in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs) in Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Gateshead.
The Business Energy Saving Team (BEST) can provide your organisation with a range of fully funded energy efficiency support, designed to help you to identify ways that you can save energy in your day to day business operations, thereby saving you money and helping to reduce your carbon-footprint. We may even be able to provide you with a grant to help cover the costs of improvements. So, you’ll reduce your running costs and be doing your ‘bit’ for the environment too.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority is a partnership of three local authorities:
Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, and Northumberland County
Council and the North of Tyne Elected Mayor.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling
Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.
The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK
investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and
skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukshared-prosperity-fund-prospectus
BEST General guidance
Rising energy costs are a significant issue for businesses and organisations of all sizes, operating in all sectors.
The average SME/VCSE could reduce its energy bill by 18-25% by installing energy efficiency measures, with an average payback of between one and three years.
The Business Energy Saving Team (BEST) can provide a range of fully-funded (Free) energy efficiency advice and guidance, practice information and energy audit support, designed to help you to identify ways that you can save energy in your day to day operations, thereby saving you money and helping to reduce your carbon footprint.
Where appropriate the BEST team will offer a site visit to explore your energy usage and provide recommendations for improvements and cost savings. Visits will range from light touch to more detailed audits depending on the complexity and energy consumed with your operations.
We can also provide a grant to help fund energy improvements in your business or organisation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of the BEST programme?
Improving your business bottom line through good energy management has the same impact as increasing sales of your products. Many customers are becoming more environmentally aware, and your energy audit can be a way of highlighting to customers your commitment to environment and sustainability. Public sector and contracting bodies are increasingly asking businesses and organisations to demonstrate how they are minimising their environmental impact through greener technology and business practices.
How do I sign up for BEST?
How do I apply for the grant?
Once your energy use has been reviewed and recommendations for improvements identified, (this could be from a previous BEST audit, other professional energy audit review or BEST Energy Adviser), we may be able to support you with a grant. This would be towards the purchase and installing of energy efficient new lighting, or a boiler, or a more efficient piece of equipment to improve your operations. Grants are approved through an application process with a few simple steps.
What happens once I sign up for BEST?
We need to carry out a few checks to ensure your company is eligible for funded support. Our team of staff work quickly and effectively to get the information we need with as little intrusion into your working day as possible.
After that, we can get into the important detail of really understanding your businesses or organisation’s energy needs and priorities.
What information do I need to provide to BEST?
In order to get a good understanding of your energy needs, we will ask for some information to help us provide tailored advice and guidance. This may include copies of energy bills and any site drawings or plans you have of your office/premises. We can advise without most of this information, but if we have this information, we can deliver a better, more accurate service for you to help reduce your energy bills and give you a high quality service.
Alternatively, if you don’t have copies of your energy bills, we can apply some industry standard energy use assumptions, and use the government’s published energy price statistics to estimate the energy cost savings for your business or organisation.
What does BEST focus on?
Our advice and guidance can be general across your site, or it can be focussed on any key priorities for your business or organisation.
For example, are there any pieces of equipment/machinery/production lines that you would like us to focus on? Do you have any plans to improve the lighting in the building? Are you looking to install renewable energy such as solar?
We want to help you reduce your energy costs and carbon emissions and will work with you to explore what the options are for your needs.
Who delivers BEST?
We have an experienced and skilled team of energy auditors available through our energy team at BEST. For larger and more complex energy consuming businesses, our external energy specialists will be brought in to carry out an in-depth review tailored to the organisation’s needs. All energy auditors within the project are highly skilled and experienced in delivering energy audits across a wide range of businesses and industries.
Do you need to visit site?
The auditor will visit your site at an agreed time to carry out the audit with the minimum interruption to you. The more pre-audit information provided helps the auditor prepare the site visit effectively, so they can focus on the key priorities for your business or organisation.
In some cases, we may be able to offer advice and recommendations over the telephone or via email. This is most likely for smaller energy consumers with simple energy requirements. Where appropriate you will be offered a site visit by our Energy Team to carry out an audit on your business premises. This will depend on the size and complexity of your energy consumption, ranging from light touch recommendations, to more in depth analysis and audit reporting.
Where a visit is required, the auditor will visit your site at an agreed time to carry out the audit with the minimum interruption to your business. The more pre-audit information provided helps the auditor prepare the site visit effectively, so they can focus on the key priorities for your business or organisation.
What will the energy audit report look like?
Where a full energy audit is required, the auditor will be able to prepare a report that outlines the most important ways that you can reduce your energy bills through making a variety of changes, ranging from low cost through to high cost.
Each energy saving opportunity will be detailed, with an estimate of how much it will cost, and the annual cost savings that it would achieve for your business, summarised in a table and executive summary so you can quickly refer to the key opportunities.
The auditor will discuss the report with you and cover any of your questions on the recommendations and how to implement them.
Do you help companies switch their energy supplier?
No, but here is a link to some useful independent, impartial advice from Ofgem https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/business-gas-and-electricity-guide
Any further questions?
Please get in touch with either Nicky Campbell or David Orr at Newcastle City Council. Tel 0191 277 7994/ 278 3448, email email@example.com
Apply for BEST
Apply for BEST energy efficiency support and start saving money on your energy bills.