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An Appeal to Businesses in the South East to Save Energy

30 April 2008

'Smart meters' which read energy outputs are being given out to businesses when they attend The Prince of Wales's May Day Business Summit on Climate Change to be held at Reading Town Hall. This is a way of encouraging them to reduce levels of energy wastage, by measuring their electricity consumption - and helping them to reach the region's target of saving nearly £0.5 billion a year.

The 150 companies attending will be urged to sign up to the May Day Network and to a 'Commitment to Action' pledge on climate change.

The event is hosted by Business in the Community and supported by SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency.

"There is evidence that businesses in the South East are aware of sustainability issues, but climate change is not high enough on the agenda, and needs to be there in flashing lights. We need to help businesses take this seriously to improve their own profitability. For example, the cost of flooding to the economy was nearly £3 billion in 2007 and is predicted to rise to £42 billion every year, by 2080. So large corporates and SMEs alike need to plan and adapt to climate change."

Oona Muirhead, SEEDA's Executive Director of Sustainability Prosperity

FACT: 30% of the energy businesses buy is wasted and 20% of CO2 emissions are from SMEs (CBI Report on Climate Change 'Everyone's Business' 2007).

Workshops at the event will encourage businesses to develop their own carbon reduction plans and to collaborate with other companies especially SMEs. Business Link will follow up with each company after the event to see how it is progressing with its pledge to cut its energy outputs as well as offering continued supporting advice.

"As a major stakeholder in the sustainable future of the South East, we're very pleased to be involved in today's event and share the experience we have accumulated over many years. Climate change is not just about big business, and all organisations can make simple changes that benefit the bottom line too."

Mike Galvin, BT's regional director for the South East - one of the event's main sponsors.

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