Energy issues tricky for business

Research from Big Six provider npower has shown that the issue of energy is rated as the most important issue facing major energy users. The npower Business Energy Index 2011provided […]

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By Tom Gibson

Research from Big Six provider npower has shown that the issue of energy is rated as the most important issue facing major energy users. The npower Business Energy Index 2011provided mixed results, with MEUs identifying energy and legislation as the biggest risks their businesses face, yet 86% of businesses don’t deal with energy as a board level issue.

Although MEUs (Major Energy Users) rated energy as the biggest risk to their business, above categories such as health and safety and sales, 50% can not allocate their energy costs by usage.

Conducted between March and May 2011, npower interviewed 300 UK businesses, comprising of 200 SMEs and 100 MEUs. Dave Lewis, Head of Business Energy Services said that energy management was held at its highest importance since the npower index in 2005.He said: “There has been a take up of energy efficiency measures, more smart meters and use of energy consultants.”

Mr Lewis highlighted the importance of the research for understanding behavioural trends. SMEs embrace quick wins due to the nature of their business and size, so there were promising signs of energy savings made. However, as many SMEs use rented property, the businesses can suffer from not being able to invest in efficiency changes to their buildings.

As always, the Carbon Reduction Commitment caused a stir, 96% wanted a simpler process for carbon footprint reporting and 82% wanted to see more clarity on what is required of their business.

Alarmingly, 85% those questioned hadn’t heard of the new government’s proposed Green Deal.