Banks ‘don’t understand renewable energy’

Banks don’t understand renewable energy, the boss of outsourcing and building services firm MITIE has claimed. Speaking at an event hosted by Utilyx, the energy management consultancy which MITIE bought […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Banks don’t understand renewable energy, the boss of outsourcing and building services firm MITIE has claimed.

Speaking at an event hosted by Utilyx, the energy management consultancy which MITIE bought last year, the chief executive also claimed many in government and business for failing to understand energy as a whole.

Ruby McGregor-Smith told the audience her firm’s “own experience in renewables” has been “patchy in some areas” because of the banking sector.

She said: “Particularly as we can’t even in many cases get private sector funding because again, we’re not even sure the banking community today still really understand how to invest in them and how to invest in them well.”

She said she was “still surprised” when she talks to some of the firm’s largest clients in the public and private sector by how much energy is “really misunderstood in the UK”.

The FTSE 250 firm’s boss went on: “Not just actually by our clients but I will be a bit bolder and say – I hope you agree – by government, interestingly enough our institutional shareholder base that should again understand more and actually in many cases by the media. There’s a huge misunderstanding of what energy is really about and what it needs to do.”

Some businesses aren’t in full control of their energy facts, she suggested: “Even when you talk to many people about, ‘How much do you spend on energy? What do you do with your data?’ it is interesting how confused those messages are,” she added.