SWM were honoured to join business leaders from across the West Midlands and the energy industry to discuss how a new devolution deal with government could give the region far greater security over its future energy supplies and help achieve its ambitious net zero target. The Energy Crisis Roundtable on Friday 29 April 2022 saw leading companies and business bodies discuss their most pressing energy concerns and what could be done regionally to tackle these challenges, including the powers they would like to see transferred from Whitehall to the West Midlands to strengthen industry resilience. Organisations at the roundtable, which was organised by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and chaired by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, included SWM members National Express and Lord Combustion Services as well as members of the WMCA’s regional business council net zero subgroup and other companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, and MakeUK. Topics included advice and support for businesses on managing their energy demands and implementing appropriate solutions, greater collaboration with the energy industry, and, in terms of devolution powers, how having greater influence on the planning and delivery of energy systems within the region can achieve greater efficiency and cost savings. SWM Chief Executive, Anna Bright, attended the roundtable and highlighted her concerns over the support available to SMEs to understand their energy consumption and make steps to reduce it, particularly as business support programmes funded by the European Regional Development fund start to wind down. Anna also highlighted the challenges faced by many small businesses in bringing their innovative energy management solutions closer to market.
Stuart Smith, MD of Lord Combustion said “The West Midlands is traditionally an industrial powerhouse within the UK and we’re keen to sit alongside the WMCA to ensure the region’s voice is heard in terms of devolution and the problems we’re encountering with the current energy crisis. Rising energy costs for businesses impacts everyone as the cost of energy usage for businesses ultimately hurts domestic households as it will only increase the price companies place on their goods and services meaning everyone suffers.”
Any business in the West Midlands looking for support on energy management can contact SWM for free advice and support. Our Sustainable Business Support Hub lists useful funding, networks and support available to businesses. Our events page lists numerous events across the region, many focused on energy management. Further Information: News item from the WMCA