With the cold well underway and heaters assuredly on, there is one thing that is occupying the minds of business owners as tariffs tick over, and that’s energy security. According to new research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 73 per cent of 550 business leaders and 2,300 households rate security of supply as a crucial energy objective for the UK.
The majority of businesses (96 per cent) are concerned about keeping energy bills affordable and, interestingly, more than half of businesses (57 per cent) believe that the UK’s energy security is worse than it was five years ago. The resounding scepticism of UK business owners is emphasised by the fact that 53 per cent of respondents cite ‘energy company profits’ as the primary reason for price hikes. It’s thus no big surprise that a mere 38 per cent of businesses agree that energy efficiency is the best solution to ensuring that energy costs remain affordable (smaller bonuses, maybe?). Another solution hazarded by business leaders who participated in CBI’s research is; more competition in the market – if energy providers are vying for customers, they’ll have to offer the best deal in an effort to sustain their client base.
Perhaps a lesser known fact is that provider profits accounted for only 4.3 per cent of an average bill in 2012, which suggests that other than the solutions already highlighted by business owners themselves, it seems that industry players might benefit from an action prioritising greater transparency and honest conversation. Being real about energy objectives and how they relate to business is a good way to encourage a mutual support network between companies and energy providers.
And how do business owners feel about the UK’s aim to tackle climate change? In spite of the fact that change in policy and the practical implementation thereof might affect energy security, most businesses (70 per cent) support renewable energy initiatives and other such schemes that hope to minimise the country’s carbon footprint. While 60 per cent of business leaders believe that taking action now to cut carbon emissions will deliver long-term economic opportunity, one in three businesses disagree (32 per cent), suggesting more must be done to communicate the importance of, and opportunity presented by, the low-carbon transition.
The research does a great job of drawing attention to some very real concerns relating to energy efficiency – or lack thereof, according to various respondents. The good news is that there’s a lot to be done and everyone has a part to play.
For more information on how to make your business’s energy more efficient and more affordable, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: cbi.org.uk – “Short-term thinking on energy risks damaging investment – CBI”