New report highlights vital role of energy efficiency for small businesses
The Federation of Small Business (FSB)’s Price of Power report offers an uncompromising view of energy, carbon and the UK’s small businesses.
The paper is candid; efficiency must be delivered and grown far more effectively. Doing so would create huge energy and cash savings, but there are add on benefits too, which smaller firms must capitalise on.
THE PRICE OF POWER; TODAY’S REALITY
The report says that 33% of FSB small businesses believe energy efficiency savings will offset the increasing cost of their energy. For smaller businesses, it is the single best way of reducing energy bills.
The FSB isn’t alone in its analysis. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates the average SME could reduce energy bills by 18-25% by installing energy efficiency measures with an average payback of less than 1.5 years.
The trouble is, says the report, it has been difficult to persuade small businesses to invest in significant energy performance improvements.
‘Many small businesses do not feel empowered to make these savings because of practical constraints, a lack of information and available cash, or suitable motivation,’ it reveals.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE; EMPOWERING FIRMS TO DELIVER ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The analysis shows that opportunities to save money, for example through energy savings, are vital to every business. But these must be balanced against the cost of the time and effort required to achieve the gains.
The problem for government is that small firms represent an extremely diverse group, with very varied pressures and motivations.
Tellingly, tactics for engaging with the small business community across a range of energy issues like efficiency, switching or smart meters, rarely involve any meaningful segmentation or sub-division of this audience into more homogeneous groups.
In other words, The FSB’s paper argues the top down approach to building small business efficiency has been misguided. Approaches more closely aligned with the true drivers would vastly improve results.
“These findings match our experience,” comments Gareth Barber, Managing Director, BGES. “A true appraisal of what drives energy usage and reduction in small businesses should be used. This is the BGES approach.
“We opt for a holistic style; we will visit your site and provide recommendations; not simply specify overarching solutions in a top down manner.
“Efficiency is complex; money, time and understanding can be lacking. Therefore, working in depth with firms to reach a unique, bespoke solution is essential.”
PUTTING EFFICIENCY TO WORK
The report says despite the high number of businesses recognising the value of energy efficiency measures, not all firms are taking action and far fewer are making significant changes.
“We seek to alter this,” Gareth Barber responds. “Let’s make 2017 the year of small business efficiency. Let’s understand their drivers and reply with the truest tools for their energy needs.”
BGES is a building controls specialist, with extensive experience as a Trend Controls, Niagra Systems, Tridium, Honeywell and Delta Controls systems integrator. Contact us to find out how building controls and other technologies can reduce your energy costs.