Only 5% of professionals who buy energy consuming equipment for their businesses are “very confident” about the energy saving claims made by manufacturers.
New research published today also found nearly a quarter (24%) are not at all confident about the declaration.
One in three of the 135 professionals surveyed across the public and private sector said a lack of credible information about equipment was a “significant barrier” to improving their organisation’s energy efficiency.
Other challenges were making a business case for buying energy efficient equipment (57%), competing organisational priorities (50%), availability of finance (38%) and risk of disruption to operations (35%).
The survey also revealed two-thirds of respondents don’t fully take into account the whole life costs of equipment when making purchasing decisions.
Lighting was found to be the most popular purchase, with nine out of 10 businesses having invested in it in the past two years and 82% expecting further investment in the next 12 months.
Other upcoming purchases include HVAC equipment (56%), boiler equipment (52%), electric motors and drivers (47%) and pipework insulation (45%).
Technologies with “notable growths in popularity for intention to purchase in the next 12 months” compared to equipment bought in the last two years were combined heat and power systems, heat pumps and solar thermal.
Almost half of respondents were not aware of the Energy Technology List (ETL), a government scheme managed by the Carbon Trust which has assessed almost 60,000 energy efficient plant and machinery against certain criteria.
Businesses that buy products that meet ETL criteria may be eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances, providing tax relief.
Paul Huggins, an Associate Director at the Carbon Trust who manages the ETL scheme, said: “Organisations that want to save money on energy bills and cut carbon emissions should think carefully about the total cost of ownership for equipment. The case for investing in better energy efficiency often seems blindingly obvious but making good decisions depends on having good quality, reliable information.
“In the last few months the performance gap between manufacturer claims and real world performance has become a prominent issue. This is why the ETL is such a valuable resource. It provides organisations with a vast database of independently tested energy saving equipment, where you can be confident of getting products that will deliver top quartile performance.”