A survey of more than 2,100 business across England and Wales by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and British Gas, has highlighted the need for financial aid to helps businesses reduce their energy costs.
The results suggest that in addition to financial aid, the government and suppliers need to do more to promote a wider use of smart meters to help companies reduce their costs. Unsurprisingly to us at Energylinx for Business, the report suggests that businesses should review their current energy contract and switch if there is a better deal out there, in order to feel the benefit of the fall in wholesale prices.
Key Finding of the Survey:
- For 36% of the businesses surveyed, the most important thing the government could do for business is provide grants towards the cost of installing energy efficiency measures.
- Respondents said no one issue prevented them from investing in energy efficiency measures. The most frequently cited barriers were the marginal level of savings they might achieve (15%), other investments taking priority (13%) and a lack of available funds (13%).
- Only 8% feel that more information would help them in this aim, while just 4% say that financing options such as lease agreements and low-cost loans would help.
- More than seventy per cent said they spend less than a tenth of their operating budget on energy, shockingly only 13% of businesses have had their energy costs fall over the last three years, whilst 36% said they had seen their costs rise; 37% reported little or no change, and 13% said they didn’t know. So there’s a real opportunity for businesses to save money.
- Just over a quarter – 27% – of businesses who rent their premises state that they have no influence on energy efficiency improvements.
Commenting on the findings, Mike Spicer, Director of Research and Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“These results demonstrate that getting the economics of investment right for energy efficiency is crucial to promoting take-up. At a time when businesses face growing upfront cost pressures from other sources, grants and tax breaks have an important role to play in offsetting the cost of new energy efficiency measures. On its own, more information won’t do the job.
Commercial landlords also need to do more, to support leaseholders and renters who are looking to save money and make their energy use work for them.”
The vast majority of survey respondents (91%) were SMEs with 1-199 employees. Over three-quarters (76%) of respondents classified themselves as service sector firms, while 24% classified themselves as manufacturers.