Business energy users are calling on the next UK government to reduce red tape and support business investment in net zero and sustainability measures, according to the latest of the Business Energy Tracker from npower Business Solutions (nBS).

The 2024 report, which monitors the impact of the energy market and policy decisions on businesses’ attitudes to energy, risk and investment planning, consulted with large energy users to find out what they would like to see from the next UK government, following the General Election on 4 July 2024.

It revealed that the top ask for 43% of businesses is an increase in support to manage energy demand, such as grants or tax breaks for installing measures including energy efficiency, on-site generation and energy management platforms.

This was followed by calls to reduce red tape, particularly for renewables schemes, and to simplify the number of non-commodity costs that are included on energy invoices, These include standing charges and other levies and have seen a significant increase in recent years. The cost of delivering net zero also remains a key concern for 95% of the businesses consulted by nBS.

With energy still the top risk for 40% of businesses for the third year in a row, and a third (35%) feeling that nothing has been done by government to support them with high energy prices, action needs to come sooner rather than later, according to Anthony Ainsworth, Chief Operating Officer at npower Business Solutions, “For more than two years, many UK businesses have been at the mercy of the volatile wholesale energy markets. Today, while prices remain higher than pre-crisis, the good news is that they seem to be on a downward trajectory, with our team reporting three-year lows.

“This doesn’t mean that the next government can be complacent and think that the energy crisis is ‘over’ for businesses. Energy remains the top business risk, while 24% of businesses say energy represents 26-35% of their business costs.

“Whatever happens on 4 July should be a wake up call – it is a prime opportunity for the next government to be both pro-energy and pro-business and set a policy and legislative agenda that gives businesses the confidence to invest.

“That is why we are launching a ‘Red Tape Challenge’ to whoever is occupying Number 10 on 5 July to cut through the noise, reduce policy barriers and put clear pathways in place to support businesses and net zero.”

Despite the concern around energy risk, there are positive signs that many businesses are growing in confidence, with just 10% believing that their energy costs will increase in the next 12 months, 48% predicting no change and a third saying it will decrease slightly.

In addition, this year’s Business Energy Tracker shows that the energy crisis has resulted in businesses being much more aware of their energy use, with many actively monitoring their consumption data and using it to facilitate change in their organisations.

Energy efficiency is once again the top investment choice for 57% of businesses, while almost a third (30%) of businesses say that they have changed their energy meter to one that provides more detailed data as a way of managing energy risk.

However, for 50% of the businesses consulted for the report, the greatest barrier to implementing these is cost, as Anthony Ainsworth continues:

“As we have seen from the feedback from businesses for this report, companies are taking control of their energy use in innovative ways, from investing in energy efficiency and on-site generation to shifting demand to off-peak times.

“But, with competition for budgets remaining fierce, building a compelling business case for investment has become even more important.

“This is where understanding your energy data becomes critical. In this ‘decade of data’, It not only helps you to monitor usage and identify any anomalies, it can provide you with the evidence to make strategic investments that will result in long-term energy, emissions and cost savings.”

To download a copy of the 2024 Business Energy Tracker, please visit


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