Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
This can significantly reduce your energy bills and can be achieved by:
All are more easily fitted during construction work or during a refurbishment. If you are planning refurbishment or improvements in a listed building, or if you are in a conservation area, certain methods may not be allowed. Check with your local council when you draw up plans.
Most new electrical appliances are now required to have an energy rating - use this to choose A rated or above.
Lights – consider LED lighting and for areas that are not in constant use fit PIR sensors that automatically switch off lights when no-one is around.
Select heating that does not involve fossil fuels if possible.
Consider a combination of the above technologies.
You may qualify for support for energy efficiency measures:
From Resource Efficient Scotland
In Northern Ireland from the carbon Trust
If you are a business then you can use the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme which allows you to offset the cost of energy efficient equipment against tax. The scheme only applies to equipment that has been approved and shown to be low energy.
The only way to gauge the true cost of your water use is by analysing it systematically. You should:
Resource Efficient Scotland has produced a series of free, online training modules for SMEs. The training will help develop the skills and knowledge needed to put in place effective resource efficiency measures in your organisation. They deal with energy, waste and water efficiency. You can work through them at your own speed, choosing the modules that are relevant to your business.
For businesses, the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme enables you to deduct the whole cost of your investment in water-saving technologies and products from your profits in the tax year that you make the purchase. The scheme is available to businesses that pay UK corporation tax or income tax, and that have enough profits for the allowance to be written off against.
You can claim the allowance when you buy any of the products that appear on the water technology list (WTL). The WTL includes water efficient products from taps to industrial cleaning and leak detection equipment.
Customers, whether businesses or the public, are increasingly environmentally conscious. They demand that they do businesses, or interact, with others who use natural resources sustainably.
Demonstrating your water efficiency can help you attract and retain customers and employees. You can also create interest from funding bodies, stakeholders and the media by showing that your organisation is well managed.
When designing building works, or refurbishment of buildings or premises you should:
This will reduce the impact of transporting materials for long distances, and will benefit local businesses and the local economy.
Re-using materials avoids all the environmental impacts of new manufacture. Recycled materials can replace virgin materials without any problems, but have the added benefit of being less expensive.
You can search for surplus materials in your area, including bricks, concrete, aggregate, glass, paint pallets, pipes, slates, tiles, soil and wood.
Resource Efficient Scotland; Construction Material Exchange
Recycled materials are often sold locally on sites like Gumtree.
Many materials and components are now manufactured using recycled content. Try to go for recycled products made from renewable resources. These include concrete that uses fly ash aggregate (PFA), carpets made from recycled plastic bottles, insulation made from recycled paper and paints that contain post-consumer returns.
NI BusinessInfo: Incorporating recycled content in construction projects
Products that are produced using less energy include timber, lime mortar (lower embodied energy than cement), slate, stone, and a variety of unfired earth materials such as cob and rammed earth.
The building research establishment (BRE) has produced a guide that rates the amount of energy used to produce each material.
NetRegs does not provide detailed guidance on planning issues. If you intend to renovate, alter, demolish or do any work on a building which might be listed then you should contact the planning department of your local council.
Information on listed buildings, including repair grants, is available from the following sources:
My Year at NetRegs, A reflection on my time as an intern with the NetRegs team at SEPA. An overview of all the activities and projects I had the opportunity to participate in during my Bright Green Environmental Placement.
A day with Hydrology, SEPA's hydrometry unit is responsible for around 400 gauging stations and 350 rainfall monitoring sites. River gauging stations are important as they allow river levels to be monitored so flood events can be predicted and flood warnings sent out.
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