Um, who supplies my business energy? One in three don’t know

Which energy company powers your business? If you know the answer, then you’re in the majority – but only just. A third of business leaders don’t know who their supplier […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Which energy company powers your business? If you know the answer, then you’re in the majority – but only just.

A third of business leaders don’t know who their supplier is, according to a new survey of 250 finance directors, managing directors, CFOs and CEOs from small to medium sized firms (SME).

James Carpenter, Managing Director of Westinghouse Solar which commissioned the poll told ELN: “Three-quarters of business leaders didn’t even know how much they were paying per quarter, really shockingly a third of those didn’t even know who their energy supplier was.”

The survey also found six in ten businesses (60%) were unaware of how much their company’s electricity bills had gone up over the last five years.

Mr Carpenter said: “This is part of the problem with the situation in the energy markets at the moment. We’ve got an energy cartel, 50-60% of the people we asked were with the Big Six energy companies. We don’t see really many alternatives.”

He said businesses were missing out on energy savings: “They’re busy guys, they don’t have a lot of time to do research into alternatives. It was quite shocking to find that businesses aren’t really benefitting enough from the likes of solar power and other energy efficiency measures.”

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There’s been a lot of fuss about rooftop solar of late, with the Government’s new solar strategy putting a big emphasis on it.

Mr Carpenter said the size of a building dictates how many solar panels you can put up and how much energy can be saved: “A small business, typically if they were looking to install a system of about 40, 50 kilowatt system, you’d be looking at a saving of £4-5,000 a year.

“If you were to buy the system outright, a medium sized business is looking at anything from £20-30,000. Large scale businesses, say distribution centre or a warehouse, could be into the hundreds of thousands.”