News / UK businesses want to reduce their energy usage

UK businesses want to reduce their energy usage

8th February 2018

According to research we commissioned from the Institute of Customer Service*, UK businesses want to reduce their energy usage and see it as a key factor when choosing a supplier.

This insight reinforces another of the survey’s findings too; the idea that businesses are becoming more aware of sustainability. In fact, 95% of the survey’s respondents said renewable energy – which can be a relatively easy way of becoming more sustainable – was important to their organisation. This is because enterprises see sustainability as being good for the world, as well as a boost to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments – both of which can attract customers who favour sustainably run, socially responsible businesses.

According to a New York Times article, Laurence D. Fink – chief executive of global investment management firm BlackRock – stressed the importance of social responsibility within business: “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Sustainability is also helping brands grow. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has been extremely successful: brands within the scheme grew over 50% faster than the rest of the business in 2016.

When less is more

A recent article in The Guardian cites research indicating that the UK was the only country in the European Union to reduce its electricity consumption in 2017. This continues a decade-long trend of declining industrial activity and a conscious effort by businesses and households to both improve their energy efficiency and reduce their energy expenditure.

Using less energy

There’s a range of options available if you want to reduce your energy consumption, from the simple (e.g. using energy-efficient light bulbs) to the more complex (e.g. a full site audit). Our research revealed that measures like these could help some businesses save, on average, around £5000 a year.

If this is something you believe may benefit your business, ask your energy supplier to organise an energy audit at your premises. It’s likely they’ll be able to identify several areas where there’s room for improvement in your energy efficiency.

Spending less on energy

While cutting your consumption – as above – will help reduce your expenditure, you can spend less on your electricity in other ways too.

One option worth investigating is the installation of battery storage on-site to capture any energy you might be producing (either with back-up generators, or through a solar and/or wind solution). This may allow you to use any surplus stored energy to “load-shift” and reduce expenditure.

Load-shifting involves moving your consumption – or load – from periods when the unit price of your electricity is higher (e.g. daytime) to when it’s less expensive (e.g. at night). This will mean you either avoid peak prices all together, or at least reduce your exposure to these most expensive rates.

*ICS report “Haven Power – Sustainability and customer service research” October 2017. On a scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 is very important), managing energy usage scored 7.8 overall as a driver of the organisation’s energy needs.

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