Energy consumption remains low as businesses face lockdown

As many businesses face yet another lockdown it comes as no surprise that energy consumption in the UK remains low as Covid-19 restrictions affect economic output, leisure, and travel – as reported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Whilst consumption has trended upwards since the record low in May it is still substantially below the same quarter of 2019.

Energy requirements for industrial use and services (shops, restaurants, offices etc.) are both down nearly 10 per cent on last year but the most notable fall is in transport demand, down 30 per cent. In particular, air transport demand has been affected, and is down nearly two-thirds on last year. It will certainly be interesting to see how this statistic fares in the first quarter of 2021, as the world isolates England to prevent the spread of the mutated coronavirus.

Covid-19 disruptions have resulted in a drop in oil and gas production. Coal production reached another record low and electricity generation from coal was down nearly 30 per cent on the same period last year, and now comprises just 0.7 per cent of total generation.
It’s always good to look on the bright side in the midst of a pandemic and economic recession, and the good news is that business energy bills should be lower and the environment slightly greener.

If you’d like to know more about how hydrogen boilers work, check out or feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302
8149 or for all your energy related questions.

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?”

How much do business owners really know about energy saving?

A new survey commissioned by the National Energy Foundation has revealed what British adults really know about energy. And it’s not all that much.

Of the people surveyed, most say that they would like to reduce their energy consumption, either because of the financial cost of using energy (81 per cent) or because of the environmental impact (70 per cent).

When it comes to business, the first step to improving energy efficiency (and cutting company overheads) is appreciating the dynamic of how light and heat is used in context. Interestingly, although three in five (58 per cent) of British adults say that they feel well informed about energy issues – sourcing information from news and documentary programmes on the TV and radio (42 per cent), searching on the internet (32 per cent) and via energy companies directly (22 per cent) – only 41 per cent of energy users know that the UK’s electricity supply comes mainly from fossil-fuel combustion. This means that the majority (59 per cent) do not know the principal source of the UK’s electricity supply.

Not only that but:

  • Only half (50 per cent) of those surveyed correctly identified which type of light bulb uses the least energy (LED) and 35 per cent incorrectly thought that low voltage halogen lights use the least.
  • Only one in ten (11 per cent) adults say that they know how much energy their workplace uses; while eight out of ten believe that private employers (79 per cent) and the government (76 per cent) should provide training and education to teach the public to use energy more efficiently. This compares to the six in ten (57 per cent) who believe that technology will solve our energy problems.

What the survey results suggest is that individuals and organisations need to up their energy literacy…

…making company owners, with a keen sense of how things work, effective in assisting their businesses in energy efficient improvements; reducing carbon footprints and saving money too.

Kerry Mashford, Chief Executive of the National Energy Foundation, has expressed interest in implementing a number of high-impact projects to improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings, inspiring others to do the same – NEF is currently looking for partners to back initiatives.

In the meantime, whether you’re a small business owner or someone managing a large-scale operation (hotels, hospitals, restaurants, police stations etc.), be proactive! Take energy seriously.

For more information on the National Energy Foundation Energy Poll, CLICK HERE for headline survey findings.

Source: – “Energy survey raises concerns: people think they know more about energy issues than they really do”

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

How your business can reduce energy consumption in the face of rising tariffs

Rising prices and tough carbon reduction targets have made energy a critical issue for government, civil society and business – and both industry and policy makers have a lot to say about the matter.

Hot in the press at the moment is whether energy-intensive industries should be asked to reduce energy consumption in spite of the fact that said energy use (that might be deemed excessive in light of reduction targets) drives business profits? A debate is raging in the face of government incentives to solve ‘the energy crisis’ by implementing time shifts (tapering energy use across the day by charging customers more for energy at the most popular times of day) on businesses in an effort to change behaviour.

Energy policies have not yet been honed by government but what is clear is that some sort of reduction will be forced, and even if your business is not energy-heavy it’s nonetheless a good idea to cut energy consumption before flexibility is no longer an option.

According to a survey by, the most common reasons that UK company owners have not cut their energy consumption are:

  • insufficient time or resources
  • not being able to quantify the expected returns
  • energy efficiency being a lower priority than other business considerations

Logic says that the best way to cut consumption would be to address the aforementioned hindrances. Here’s how:

Assign ‘ownership’ to a member of staff: if time is short and resources are minimal, appoint someone with the specific task of overseeing an ‘energy project’; this could be someone already on staff or someone new who is brought in on a contract basis. The idea would be for the project manager to identify the primary areas of energy consumption (including lighting, heating, cooling and powering equipment) and to then work out how best to cut consumption; investing in new equipment can make a dramatic difference to energy bills, for example.

Plan and evaluate: often energy saving measures cost up front but save money in the long term. A good way to quantify returns is to clearly outline project requirements to prospective suppliers, which enables a detailed picture of which company offers the best deal. All proposals should provide whole life costings for the proposed solution, showing both the upfront capital cost of the equipment as well as the running costs (including estimated energy consumption and maintenance). Also make sure you receive quotes from at least three established suppliers to have a good framework for comparison. It is worth evaluating the success of different energy efficiency projects at regular stages after their completion. This helps demonstrate the return on investment for future projects; to identify which measures are delivering the biggest benefits and can highlight future enhancements to business operations. – As suggested by

Change behaviour: the best way to make energy consumption a business priority is to start with the basics; something as simple as turning off heating outside normal opening hours can result in significant energy savings without the need for major investment. Also encourage staff to take simple steps to reducing energy use on a daily basis (turn switches off at the socket, make sure lights are turned off when rooms aren’t in use etc.) – before you know it; saving energy will be habit.

It’s important to remember that when it comes to energy consumption, the effort it takes to cut energy use will ultimately save your business money! The more effort you put in, the more return you will see.

Sources: – “Is it fair to ask energy-intensive industries to reduce consumption?” and – “Beating the barriers to energy efficiency in association with the CARBON TRUST

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or