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Smaller firms 'missing out on vital energy savings'

Smaller firms 'missing out on vital energy savings'

Smaller firms 'missing out on vital energy savings'

There are many ways for your business to work towards improving its environmental standards: encouraging eco-friendly practices in the workplace and using service suppliers that have solid green credentials and accreditations, for example.

Despite the many options available to improve performance in this area, research has shown that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK are putting themselves at a disadvantage by missing out on "vital" energy savings.

ScottishPower released a report showing that only one in ten smaller firms claim to have reduced their energy consumption over the past year.

The gas and electricity supplier commissioned a YouGov survey which found that more than 60 per cent of SME owners don't see energy efficiency in the workplace as a key priority. More than half admitted they don't have any active measures in place to become "energy smarter".

Looking at specific policies, the research revealed that half of UK SMEs have taken no action to encourage staff to switch off electrical equipment and lights at the end of the day.

Two-thirds of SMEs don't have a printing policy in place, while only one in ten conduct an energy audit once a year.
Businesses can start their journey towards greater efficiency by introducing basic practices such as switching off electrical equipment and closing windows at the day. Combined with cost-effective green technologies such as LED lighting, these changes could save many SMEs up to 30 per cent on their energy costs, according to the Carbon Trust.

ScottishPower announced that it had formed a partnership with the Carbon Trust to help more firms take control of their energy spending and make savings. The collaboration will deliver new efficiency tools and an online resource to help companies improve their performance in this area.

Mark Bowen, marketing director at the power supplier, said many organisations acknowledge that they could be doing more, but are put off by the assumption that implementing energy efficiency measures will be time-consuming and difficult.

He added: "We're keen to work together with businesses and the Carbon Trust as part of this innovative new partnership to understand how we can help break down some of these barriers.

"Making smarter energy choices makes perfect business sense and will help firms to become more sustainable and efficient, while reducing bills which could allow investment elsewhere."

Richard Rugg, managing director of programmes at the Carbon Trust, described energy-saving initiatives as an "easy win" that offer an effective way of boosting profitability by reducing costs.

"Although there is often a considerable opportunity to reduce overheads, in most companies this often gets overlooked," he said. "We look forward to working alongside ScottishPower to help their customers understand how to better take advantage of energy efficiency and become more sustainable businesses."

ScottishPower's online toolkit for companies that want to improve their energy performance is due to be launched next year.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/AndreyPopov