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Café receives Government funding to reduce energy use

When Thomas Tosh café and art gallery underwent a major refurbishment, its owners used the SME Loan to fund insulation and lighting upgrades – reducing their carbon footprint by 4.4 tonnes.

  • Thomas Tosh café, art gallery and gift shop in Dumfriesshire recently underwent a major redesign
  • It applied for the Scottish Government interest-free SME Loan to fund roof insulation and install energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) fittings
  • The upgrades could reduce the business’s energy bills by £725 and its annual carbon footprint by 4.4 tonnes of CO2

‘The funding helped us to make the upgrades that we needed, reducing our energy consumption and contributing to our plans to develop the business,’ Paul O’Keeffe, Partner.

Thomas Tosh is a café, art gallery and gift shop housed in the former parish hall in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire. Over the past decade, the business has become increasingly popular. In February 2017, the owners undertook a major redevelopment of the premises to expand the café’s offering to the community.

As part of the upgrade, Paul O’Keeffe and partner David Cripps wanted to review energy use throughout the building. The owners were keen to upgrade to more efficient equipment and to improve energy efficiency. But, like many small business owners, Paul O’Keeffe and his partner needed to understand what impact taking efficiency actions would have on the business, particularly in terms of reducing energy bills and CO2 production.

Mr O’Keeffe contacted us and requested help in reviewing the costs and benefits of investing in resource efficiency, and to better understand what funding support was available.

One of our advisers performed an on-site assessment of Thomas Tosh and noted that the roof was uninsulated. It was recommended that installing 300mm of glass fibre insulation would reduce annual energy consumption by 8,554 Kwh, saving £255 per year.

Our adviser also proposed that the business replace all its tungsten, tungsten halogen and compact fluorescent lamps with LEDs. The benefits of this to the business are substantial. LED lamps could reduce energy consumption for lighting by 4,186 kWh/annum, with a monetary saving of £470.

Investing in energy efficiency would not only be beneficial for Thomas Tosh and its customers, it would also have a positive environmental impact. Installing insulation and upgrading to LED lighting could reduce CO2 production by 4.4 tonnes.

After calculating these savings, we investigated the potential funding sources that were available to support Thomas Tosh. The business was eligible for the unsecured, interest-free SME Loan from the Scottish Government. The loan offers businesses in Scotland up to £100,000 to implement projects that will reduce energy, water and raw material use. It enables companies to invest in efficient equipment and unlock the financial benefits of reduced resource use without the risks and costs associated with a commercial loan.

Thomas Tosh was approved for the loan and has since installed the new insulation and light fittings in its upgraded premises.

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