With the big energy companies announcing another swathe of price rises, it is no surprise that combating their ever mounting gas and electricity bills is now the biggest issue for the majority of businesses.
According to the results of the Business Energy Barometer – published by the UK energy broker Business Juice – one in 12 companies said they would face “catastrophic” consequences if the trend for 25% year-on-year price rises continued, while 31% said the impact would damage the way they do business.
Another recent survey, this time by Deloitte, claimed that 90% of large companies had now put in place an energy reduction strategy in an attempt to combat spiralling energy costs.
In the case of the manufacturing sector, Deloitte said: “Energy cost inflation is not a cyclical trend requiring a temporary response. For some time now manufacturers have been experiencing inflated energy costs, and higher prices are here to stay. Structural reform is necessary, involving a step-change in thinking, process and actions with regard to energy usage.”
Among the key issues the accountancy giant said organisations needed to look at were financial discipline, energy management, sustainability and workforce engagement.
While the bigger companies may have led the way in starting to tackle the energy costs crisis, we are also seeing a growing number of enquiries from SMEs wanting to put in place their own energy reduction strategy.
I have been working with a breadth of companies ranging from companies keen install a small solar PV array to take advantage of the Government’s feed-in-tariff incentives through to high energy users such as Cheshire-based temperature controlled storage and distribution specialist Cold Move which commissioned an installation of 400kWp – comprising almost 1700 solar panels – across its two sites.
In the case of our manufacturing customers, many are investing in energy efficient lighting systems to help slash their bills and significantly reduce their carbon footprint. The return on investment for such installations can be as little as two years in many cases.
And then there are genuinely groundbreaking projects such as Armstrong Point – the UK’s first zero energy cost business park in Wigan which has just been completed.
The scheme has embraced a range of renewable energy technologies including 90kWp of Solar PV, a 6kW wind turbine, nine solar thermal hot water systems and nine heat pumps.
The £2.7million development on the old Britvic site at Swan Lane, Hindley Green, will provide nine high specification business units where tenants will not have to pay any energy costs.
Such has been the response to this pioneering project, the company behind it is now looking to roll-out similar developments to other parts of the UK.
Forward-thinking businesses – just like savvy consumers – can do a lot to combat the seemingly remorseless rise in the cost of energy.
In these tough economic times, the kind of savings which are possible can help to make the bottom line look a lot brighter, while at the same time enabling you and your workforce to contribute to a more sustainable environment.
If you are a business looking to address your energy problems give me a call or visit http://www.renewablesolutionsuk.com