NEWS AND EVENTS 

Our 2014 Report is now online  
To see the highlights Read more..... 
 
 
 

Grants of up to £5,000 to reduce your business energy bills 11.11.2014 

Low Carbon Workspaces helps small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) identify opportunities to reduce energy usage by offering a match funded grant of up to £5,000 to help pay for the installation of energy efficiency solutions.  
 
Potential activities that can be funded by the grant include; 
 
Energy efficient lighting 
Cavity and solid wall insulation 
Efficient boilers 
Efficient equipment 
Double glazing 
 
Grants are open to SMEs across the South East of England (excluding London). 
 

Eastleigh Borough Council Sustainability Awards 

EBC's popular award competition for Environmentally sustainable businesses and other organisations has now been launched. Click Here 

Low Carbon Truck Trial 23.06.2014 

The low carbon truck trial was launched in 2012 following the government’s Logistics growth review. £13.5 million funding from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and the Technology Strategy Board was made available, via competition, to encourage and assist UK road haulage operators to buy and use low carbon heavy goods vehicles and supporting infrastructure. A number of the successful projects commenced vehicle trials in 2013. 

Green Deal Home Improvement Fund Update 23.06.2014 

£2.61 million was issued to households through the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund during the scheme’s first week, according to industry estimates. 

Green Light for East Anglia off shore wind farm 23.06.2014 

The East Anglia One offshore wind farm that is expected to support almost 2,900 jobs and bring over £520 million of investment into the UK's economy has today been given consent from the government to go ahead. 

Green Loans Launched 25.04.2014 

Future Solent, together with Local First Community Interest Company, Eastleigh Borough Council and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, has launched a ‘Green Growth Business Loans Scheme’ for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) mainly based in the Solent and Isle of Wight region. The £950,000 fund is open to borrowers who can match-fund the loan, demonstrate that their project will create jobs, and who are either operating in the green economy or are funding a project in the green economy (widely defined to include environmentally beneficial or sustainability-enhancing projects). 
The scheme will help businesses working in fields such as: 
 
• environmental technologies and services (such as energy efficiency / retrofit); 
• waste and recycling; 
• renewable and low carbon energy production; 
• sustainable development; 
• marine and maritime; 
• sustainable design, engineering and construction 
 
or involved in projects with demonstrable environmental benefits. Applicants are invited to make the case that their project is part of the green economy and eligible for a loan. 
 
Scheme administrator Richard Hall said: 
“These loans are intended to help established businesses start projects that create jobs in Hampshire. Rates will start from 3.5% and will depend on the strength of the project. We aim to make the process of borrowing the money as straightforward as possible. Interested businesses are welcome to contact me (07770 605664 / Richard@futuresolent.co.uk) for an initial discussion. Alternatively fill in an Expression of Interest form and send it in. The application form can be found here: 

Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme ESOS 

To meet EU Energy Efficiency Directive (which came into force November 2012) the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are finalising the details of a compulsory programme of energy audits that all large organisations (excluding public sector and SMEs) are expected to carry out before December 5th 2015 and every four years thereafter. The intention is to raise awareness of energy consumption and the opportunities to reduce it, thereby reducing demand on energy generation, costs and emissions whilst improving competitiveness. DECC are finalising the outcome of a consultation process that closed in October 2013, the results of which are due shortly. There are expected to be some concessions depending on current practices or standards held (e.g. ISO14001 or ISO50001). More details are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/energy-savings-opportunity-scheme 
 

Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) – a competition 

Keen to reduce demand on the grid and to raise awareness of the opportunities to reduce the consumption of tradition fossil fuels, DECC has announced that in June this year it will launch an “auction” of funds to support organisations to find ways to reduce their non renewable electricity consumption. To promote EDR initiatives, £20,000,000 is to be made available on a bid basis. More details are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-demand-for-energy-from-industry-businesses-and-the-public-sector--2/supporting-pages/electricity-demand-reduction-project. 

 

Sustainable Distribution Centre soon to become operational 16.12.13 

The Sustainable Distribution Centre builds on the successes of other goods delivery models that consolidate freight deliveries, which are already operating in other cities including London, Bristol and Sheffield, with the addition of a comprehensive warehousing solution to make it an attractive option to a wider variety of users and suppliers. 
The SDC will offer freight consolidation and storage services to Southampton and the surrounding regions including Winchester, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Totton and the New Forest. 
 
The new project brings many ‘green’ benefits to the city and surrounding region through enabling businesses to have a more environmentally sustainable way to receive their deliveries, while offering cost-effective storage solutions.  
Other benefits include: 
 
Freight will be received around the clock and stored on a flexible basis. 
Deliveries will be consolidated into individual part-loads that are destined for dispatch to similar locations reducing the number of delivery vehicles travelling into that location. 
Environmental benefits of reducing CO2 levels, particulates and NOx emissions. 
Positive impact on congestion across the City. 
Users can take advantage of more timely direct deliveries and reduce the need for expensive onsite storage space whilst enabling a more efficient use of retail and office space. 
Suppliers will benefit from fuel savings and reduced delivery costs by cutting out the last mile of delivery. 
 
For more information click here or contact Simon Fry the Sustainable Distribution Centre Project Manager by email simon.fry@southamptonsdc.co.uk or call 023 8083 2128. 
 
Source: Sustainable Distribution Centre 

Switch Hampshire Winter Scheme Launches 11.12.13 

After a successful first round of Switch Hampshire from May to July 2013, Hampshire County Council in partnership with your Local Council will re-open the scheme over the winter. 
Registration opened on 10th December and is a quick and easy way for residents to find out if they could save on their energy bills. The scheme covers residents who use gas or electricity (or both) and also those who use pre-payment meters. If residents do decide to switch, the scheme will handle the switching process for them and residents do not have to agree to pay their bills by direct debit or online if they do decide to switch. 
Residents who participated in the last scheme said: 
“The scheme makes it easy to switch and more importantly saves you money” 
 
“The process was very easy and my energy costs will be lower” 
 
“Really easy and I didn’t have to do much to make it happen” 
 
Residents can register online at www.hants.gov.uk/switch or over the phone on 01962 846828.  
The closing date for registrations is 17th February 2014. 
 
Source: Hampshire County Council 

£950 million City Deal to create thousands of new jobs in Southampton and Portsmouth 13.11.13 

The City Deal between the government and local businesses and leaders from Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire councils and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership is the latest of the second wave of City Deals to get the green light from government. 
The Southampton and Portsmouth City Deal will ensure local residents can access jobs in growing sectors and that local businesses are able to grow. It will provide £953 million of investment into the Southampton and Portsmouth areas, creating more than 17,000 jobs. The City Deal will also set up the new £5.8 million Solent Jobs Pilot. This is a joint investment proposal to help 1,000 very long term unemployed people who have been unsuccessful at finding work through the Work Programme to get back to work. This will be complemented by: 
£1 million DWP Rapid Response Service that will support those recently made redundant 
£3 million Marine and Maritime Employer Ownership for Skills Programme 
£1.4 million Young Person’s Fund that will be used to support national programmes that tackle youth unemployment 
£10 million programme to support SMEs to grow 
 
For the original press release click here 
 
Source: Deputy Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office 

Secretary of State announces Government funding to boost local jobs and green business 21.10.13 

Rt. Hon Dr Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills today announced Government plans to award £3 Million of Regional Growth Funding (RGF) support to the “Future Solent Green Growth Programme” at the borough’s prestigious Ageas Bowl venue. 
Rt. Hon Dr Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills today announced Government plans to award £3 Million of Regional Growth Funding (RGF) support to the “Future Solent Green Growth Programme” at the borough’s prestigious Ageas Bowl venue. 
 
The exciting programme aims to create at least 315 new jobs in the Solent area over the next three years by supporting business growth in the low carbon or “green economy”. This includes high tech green technology companies and companies involved in renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste & recycling. 
Photo: Scott Sinclair 
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Southampton wins Transport City of the Year award 21.10.13 

The people making a real difference to transport across the UK were recognised at the prestigious National Transport Awards in London last week, which saw Southampton City Council pick up the top local authority award for Transport City of the Year. 
Other authorities shortlisted in this category included Aberdeen City Council, Coventry City Council and Nottingham City Council. 
 
Southampton was recognised for its impressive multi-dimensional transport programme benefiting all residents and visitors to the city. The city has won over £30m in additional transport funding, which is enabling us to implement improved port access (through the Platform Road/Town Quay scheme), a wide range of improvements for bus passengers, a South Hampshire smartcard for buses and an ambitious scheme to improve the Central Station area.  
Read more... 

Business Secretary Vince Cable to headline Future Solent green conference 

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, is to address a Hampshire conference and exhibition looking at how best to create and safeguard jobs and grow business opportunities in a low carbon economy. 
 
The Future Solent event is being staged by a partnership of business leaders, politicians and green technology experts keen to stimulate sustainable economic growth while reducing our carbon footprint. 
 
Board members of Future Solent include representatives from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Southampton and Portsmouth universities, IBM, Southern Water, Bouygues UK and PUSH, the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire. 
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Fruitful deal to import 500,000 tonnes of fruit from Spain through Southampton docks 10.09.13 

A deal to import between 200,000 and 500,000 tonnes of Spanish fruit and vegetables shipped through the port of Southampton every year is to create at least 60 local jobs and could pave the way for more new trade for the port. 
Southampton Fruit Handling, based at Berth 104 in the city`s Western Docks, is set to introduce one new ship calling at Southampton every nine days but that number is expected to climb to two or three ship calls every week from the southern Spanish port. 
 
As well as creating jobs in Southampton the deal is estimated to save 20 million kilometres of road miles every year and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 47 per cent by taking the produce by sea instead of on lorries. 
 
The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and its counterpart in Almeria have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work together. 
Read more... 

Lord Stern dismissed David Cameron’s claims on fracking 05.09.13 

Lord Stern, a respected commentator on the economics of climate change and author of the hugely influential Stern Review on the financial implications of climate change soundly criticises the government for encouraging the rush into fracking without a thorough analysis of all its potential ramifications. Lord Stern has dismissed David Cameron’s claims that the fracking boom in the UK can bring down the price of gas in the UK as “baseless”. 
I do think it’s a bit odd to say you know that it will bring the price of gas down. That doesn’t look like sound economics to me. It’s baseless economics,” said Lord Stern. He continues to say “gas is a commodity that can be traded on the international market, meaning that it will be sold to the highest bidder, whether inside or outside the UK. As a result, any shale gas boom in the UK would be unlikely to have an impact on the world price”. 
 
Lord Stern welcomed the increased use of gas if it is substituted for coal because it would bring down emissions. However, should the gas be used at the expense of renewable technologies such as wind and solar power “that is really worrying”, he said. 
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Multi-million pound investment in offshore wind industry to unlock billions in UK economy 16.08.13 

Government and business have published a long-term strategy that will strengthen the UK’s position in the offshore wind industry. 
The multi-million pound investment has the potential to unlock £7 billion in the economy by 2020. Investments by the government will include £20 million from the Regional Growth Fund to improve the UK wind industry’s supply chain, and £46 million to join up innovation between industry, government and academia and help companies to bring new products to market. 
 
The industry has the potential to create 30,000 jobs here and contribute £7 billion to the economy by 2020. Exports have the potential to add even more to these economic benefits. 
Read more... 

Government report confirms 4.8% annual increase to £128bn in UK Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services sales in 2011/12 31.07.13 

The findings revealed the UK’s Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sales in 2011/12 was £128.1bn, an annual increase of £5.9bn approximately 4.8% compared with baseline figures from 2008/2009 to 2010/2011. 
 
The UK's LCEGS sector remains the sixth in the world, behind the US where sales reached £661bn, China with £444bn, Japan on £213bn, India with £211bn and Germany at £145bn. However, the UK's 4.8 per cent growth rate was higher than any other country in the top 10 bar Brazil. 
The report confirms that alternative fuels, building technologies, and wind power are by far the largest sectors in terms of both global and UK LCEGS sales, where they accounted for £19.2bn, £15.4bn, and £15.1bn respectively. However, the highest year-on-year increase in growth rate is for Wave & Tidal and Alternative Fuels, which grew by the greatest percentage (5.5% to 6%) over the three year period. 
 
Forecast growth rates for the UK are projected to steadily increase in growth from 4.8% in 2011/12 to 5.9% by 2015/16. 
 
For the full report click here 
 
Source: BIS, DEFRA, and DECC 

Solent Green Deal launched today 14.06.13 

Tommy Walsh, celebrity builder and TV presenter, has officially launched the Solent Green Deal, a joint council initiative, in a bid to help Hampshire households drive down their energy costs. Households across Hampshire continue to experience year on year increases in energy costs which is eating into household income. Some of these costs can be avoided in most homes by improving their energy efficiency. 
The Solent Green Deal is a local scheme to help people make their homes more energy efficient and save money. It is backed by local council and uses the government’s national Green Deal, which offers loans for residents to make their homes more efficient before repaying them simply through their energy bills. 
 
The Ground Force presenter joined councillors and local residents for the launch which took place at a specially fitted out home at 48 Atlantic Park View in Eastleigh on Friday 14th June. 
 
The house has been transformed into an energy saving experience to showcase in a fun way, how an array of measures can make a big difference to costs, efficiency, warmth and carbon emissions. As well as giving a speech outlining his support for the scheme and accompanying guests on a tour of the house, he was also on hand to provide top energy saving tips. 
Read more... 
 
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Case Studies 

We've helped a range of businesses, hear their stories here. If you have a story to share email richard@futuresolent.co.uk 
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