Energy cost still outweighs sustainability as business priority

Posted on 18 Oct 2019 by Jonny Williamson

Less than one-quarter (22%) of UK energy managers working in manufacturing say hitting sustainability targets is their number one business priority, according to new data.

Despite recent global attention on the environment following Climate Week in New York and net-zero pledges from many UK companies, almost half of manufacturing business energy managers (47%) admit saving energy costs still remains their primary concern.

Power Generation Electricity Bills Energy Increase Non-Commodity Costs Charges - image courtesy of Depositphotos.

The findings– drawn from a survey commissioned by npower Business Solutions – are likely a result of increasing political and economic uncertainty in the UK.

More than three-quarters of those surveyed (77%) are concerned about potential business energy price hikes, with Brexit viewed as the greatest factor affecting business energy prices in the future (36%).

In fact, almost half (41%) of those polled believe a no-deal Brexit will lead to consistently higher energy prices in the medium-term.

When it comes to a potential change in government, manufacturing energy managers believe that this is likely to lead to increased price instability (68%) and greater regulation (58%), and the continued roll-out of new energy-related policies to meet net-zero targets (57%).

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However, UK manufacturing businesses are already implementing a number of strategies and tools to help manage energy efficiency and better prepare their business for continued uncertainty.

More than half (58%) either have implemented or are planning to implement demand side response technology, while 38% say employee behaviour change programmes (38%) have led to the greatest reduction of energy use for their businesses.

In terms of policies to help the UK bridge the carbon emissions gap and meet the net-zero targets, more than a quarter (26%) of retail business energy managers say new carbon pricing framework will get the job done.

*All images courtesy of Depositphotos