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Businesses will be key to boosting energy efficiency

Businesses will be key to boosting energy efficiency

Businesses will be key to boosting energy efficiency

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) has said there is "absolutely no doubt" that businesses of all sizes will have an important part to play as the UK seeks to make itself more efficient and sustainable over the coming years.

It also stressed that the "smart energy transition" should be available to all groups and members of society, including individual households and communities.

The EST set out its position in a blog responding to research released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) at the beginning of January. The FSB stressed that smaller enterprises will be a vital part of the UK's efforts to improve its efficiency and meet its climate obligations.

Clear government strategies are required in areas like microgeneration and energy efficiency across the small business community, according to the trade association.

The EST said: "There's absolutely no doubt that businesses, big and small, are going to be important players in overhauling the UK's energy supply and boosting energy efficiency over the coming years.

"But the smart energy transition needs to be open and accessible to - and benefit - all groups, not just early adopters and those able to pay. A distributed energy network should represent a varied picture of the nation - and we hope that with the right structure and support network in place, it will."

One of the key findings in the FSB research was that security of supply is the biggest energy concern for smaller firms, with 60 percent citing it as an issue. Nearly nine out of ten small businesses (86 percent) said the UK was too reliant on imported energy.

The FSB argued that making it easier and more attractive for companies to get involved in generating energy would "help to meet carbon targets and make the UK more self-sufficient with supplies".

In response, the EST said it would be supportive of small businesses getting involved in the "distributed generation agenda". The group added: "Higher numbers of smaller generators putting clean energy on the grid and making an impact locally can only be encouraged."

Nearly six out of ten smaller firms (58 percent) have made changes of some sort in an attempt to improve their energy efficiency, according to the FSB findings.

One question all organisations should ask is whether they are working with eco-friendly suppliers and service providers that have a proven track record for green performance.

There are many simple changes that can be made around the average workplace to improve sustainability and energy efficiency. These might include conducting an awareness campaign to ensure that all members of the workforce understand the importance of these issues and what they can do to contribute.

It can also prove beneficial to offer rewards and incentives to encourage particular teams or the workforce as a whole to show how they are working towards greater efficiency.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/ElNino