The threat of scarce resources, rising prices for fossil energy and the implementation of EU environmental regulations mean that companies’ future energy competence is a high priority. However, particularly at the lower end of business, there is considerable room for improvement. Moreover, energy issues are not yet part of the standard agenda of SME business support.
Thus, the IEC-SME project was initiated with the mission of creating a standard procedure to improve energy competence at SME-level that is simple, efficient, transnational, sustainable and non-profit oriented. IEC-SME is a transnational initiative of public (provinces, chambers, universities, energy agencies) and private (SME’s, expertise centre, cluster agencies) organisations from all over the EU. The project creates an integrated knowledge-supply chain to improve energy competence at SME company level among and between specialised knowledge suppliers such as universities, corporate education centres, energy agencies and chambers and business interest organisations offering business support services.
The project’s objectives are manifold. The project aims to enable business support organisations to provide energy related support to their regional SME-base through trained staff, and to implement a targeted (benchmarking) process supporting in order to understand their energy performance and to draw recommendations for how to better meet their needs. It further seeks to create a sustainable database of sector specific SME energy performance data (the energy performance index EPI), which allows the progress to be closely monitored, and to find opportunities for SME’s to improve their energy performance by getting involved in the benchmarking process. A final objective of the project is to provide greater visibility for good practices in improving SME energy performance and benefits resulting from them.
The project will create four training modules for future SME energy advisors as a part of small business support services, training a minimum of 25 trainees from staff in business support organisations. It will construct a web-based benchmarking mechanism for assessing energy performance in five energy intensive industry sectors, and will deliver energy performance assessment and energy reports. A final goal of the project is to prepare a sustainable framework for a sustainable extension of the ICE-SME process beyond the duration of this project and to disseminate and communicate the project.
|Award category:||leadership and change|
|Sector:||Economic affairs, competition, SME|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Efficient, sustainable energy, energy awareness, saving energy, reducing emissions, energy competence|
|Short English description:||The project aims to enable business support organisations to provide energy related support to their regional SME-base through trained staff, and to implement a targeted (benchmarking) process supporting in order to understand their energy performance and to draw recommendations for how to better meet their needs|
|Organisation:||Fundacion Comunidad Valenciana - Region Europea|
|Level of government:|
|Size of organisation:||50-100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|