Agritech is a rural SME that underwent an energy upgrade in order to improve their competitiveness
Agritech is a rural SME. The SME recognised the opportunity to showcase their commitment to sustainability, while at the same time reducing their running costs, in order to improve their competitiveness. The SME contacted Tipperary Energy Agency to undertake an energy audit and energy/ICT measures that would provide financial savings in order to increase the profitability/competitiveness of the business. An indepth examination of the costs being incurred by the SME through their usage of energy was undertaken and a number of enhancement works were procured and delivered to the company by Tipperary Energy Agency. This practice demonstrates that proactice management of the costs that an SME can control does lead to cost competitiveness improvements.
30% funding of the capital works was received from a national funding programme by the SME with the remainder coming through the SME's own funding.
Evidence of success
All four upgrade measures were completed on time, to the SME's satisfaction, and within budget. Certain standards, for lighting levels, with regards to illuminance and health and safety, were not met before the project began. At the design stage, it was ensured that these standards would be met.
There were some complications/difficulties with some contractors at the tendering stage, regarding what was inside/outside the scope of the specification.
Potential for learning or transfer
This example shows the comprehensive set of actions required to undertake energy efficiency upgrades for SME competitiveness purposes and has good potential for learning/transfer, from feasibility stage, through to design, grant application, procurement, management of contractors, commissioning, client handover, grant draw down, and finally measurement and verification of savings.
When getting a client committed to an energy savings project which requires a substantial investment of their own funding, it is imperative that rigorous calculations are done to ensure that the most accurate end results are quantified before the client commits to the project. In this regard, how much energy would be saved, how much money would be saved, how much of their own money would be required, how much our project management would cost, must all be quantified, so that the client can make an informed decision.