Businesses prioritise energy security when choosing providers, according to new research

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

Source: – “Short-term thinking on energy risks damaging investment – CBI”

What is the ‘energy trilemma’? – And how does it impact businesses?

Everyone’s talking energy these days. It wasn’t that long ago that business energy consumption was seemingly irrelevant; the UK had it all figured out. But times have changed; sustainability has become a big deal bringing energy to the fore both socially and politically. News headlines are rife with reference to the so-called ‘energy trilemma’ and how this affects business profitability, and companies are spending many hours hashing out solutions in the boardroom in an effort to reduce energy costs.

The term ‘energy trilemma’ was coined by the World Energy Council to explain the problem of finding secure energy supplies and catering to rising demand without prices becoming unaffordable, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And the problem is turning out to be quite the conundrum. The three goals of: energy security, energy cost and environment sustainability are largely dependent on the relationships between public and private sectors, governments and regulators, economic and social factors, national resources, environmental concerns, and individual behaviours. The challenge that business owners face, amidst all of this, is to make energy work for the company (rather than against it) whilst maintaining a profit (and the certainty of future profits) by ensuring that the energy trilemma does not manipulate net earnings into the red.

The most obvious solution to the energy trilemma is energy efficiency. According to a survey conducted by UrbanWind, the majority of UK businesses are concerned with saving energy, with 94 per cent actively pursuing an energy reduction programme. And this is great news, considering the fact that European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40 per cent by 2030. David Cameron won a battle to keep policies aimed at boosting renewables and saving electricity voluntary for member states. Although Cameron had hoped to cut the energy efficiency figure to 25 per cent, he accepted 27 per cent on behalf of the UK as long as it was not binding on Britain.

More and more, government policy will make businesses accountable for their energy consumption as experts and leaders work to solve the energy trilemma. If your business is not yet on board with implementing sustainable energy measures, it’s probably time to get with the programme.

If you’d like further information on ways to lower your energy overheads and make your business’s energy use more sustainable, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Sources: H&VNews – “Commercial opportunities increase for MCS installers”; – “EU leaders agree 40 per cent emissions cuts by 2030”; – “Business Energy Independence” and – “The energy ‘trilemma’: how did we get here?”