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SCOTLAND: TOOLKIT FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

October 13, 2003 12:00 AM

A partnership approach to energy efficiency can help companies drive down costs and improve their profitability, Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace as he launched the Small Business Energy and Environment Toolkit.

The Toolkit, a joint initiative by the Executive and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), offers a practical guide to businesses on the most efficient use of their resources.

It covers all aspects of resource efficiency including energy, waste, water, transport and regulatory issues.

Mr Wallace said:

"I am acutely aware of the difficulties encountered by small businesses in keeping their costs under control. Key to driving down these costs and maximising profits is through the efficient use of resources. This will also contribute to a healthier environment and a healthier economy.

"However, companies often do not have advice at hand which is clear and simple to use - this is where the toolkit comes in.

"The toolkit shows a practical example of what can be achieved by such a partnership between the Executive and the Federation of Small Businesses.

"Take energy consumption - simple energy efficiency measures can save around 20 per cent on fuel bills. However, if businesses, no matter how small, adopt all the recommendations in the toolkit they can save themselves thousands of pounds each year.

"I therefore commend this toolkit to small business users throughout Scotland. I am confident it will contribute not only to the success of business but to a smart, successful and sustainable Scotland."

Andy Willox, Scottish Policy Convener for the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

"Government experts estimate that business and consumers waste 20 per cent of Scotland's total energy and water spending of £6.5 billion each year, a total of £1.3 billion. That is equivalent to half of our annual income from North Sea oil and a third of Scotland's tourist income.

"Implementing the simple measures detailed in the toolkit could save small businesses many thousands of pounds each year. It is estimated that a 20 per cent reduction in energy costs is equivalent to an average annual sales increase of five per cent. That is a significant boost to the profits of any small business, and we will be urging our members to study the toolkit and use it to their best advantage."

All 18,500 members of the FSB in Scotland will receive a personal copy of the new toolkit.