Finance remains the biggest perceived barrier to energy efficiency investment amongst small and medium-sized enterprises and the public sector, according to a survey of company managers and directors conducted by The Energyst.
Apathy at board level and distrust of claimed savings are also significant hurdles for those trying to implement energy efficiency improvements.
The findings form part of a broader survey on attitudes to energy efficiency within public and private sector organisations.
You can help create a more robust industry snapshot by taking the short survey here.
To date, 115 surveys have been completed, of which 39 are classified as SMEs (up to 250 employees) or the public sector. Those respondents were not obliged to take an energy audit under the Energy Savings Obligation Scheme (Esos). However, more than two thirds (69%) have conducted an energy audit within the last two years. Roughly half of those subsequently took some form of action, the vast majority of which was LED lighting upgrades.
While that suggests reasonable appetite to improve efficiency, half of non-Esos respondents (53%) said finance was the biggest barrier to investment for their business. Almost a quarter (23%) cited distrust in measurement and verification (M&V) of claimed savings, while a fifth (20%) said board level engagement was a barrier.
Roughly half (47%) of the SMEs and public sector organisations surveyed are already half-hourly metered, which means they may be exposed to increasingly volatile energy prices in the coming months, although these price signals may be dampened to an extent by policy interventions. However, that overall percentage was skewed upwards by public sector respondents.
The vast majority of respondents (83%) were aware of the potential for within-day price spikes and almost six in ten (58%) have some form of onsite generation, suggesting potential for mitigation.
The survey will form part of an Eon-sponsored report to be published at a free breakfast briefing in London on 23 November. We have a limited number of seats for businesses that that wish to discuss how to overcome barriers to energy efficiency improvements. Click here to secure your seat.
Tell us how your business views energy efficiency
TPIs failing to engage clients on energy efficiency
60% of firms taking energy efficiency action post-Esos
Esos and the slow death of energy management
Green Investment Bank: Energy managers must build better business cases to finance energy efficiency
Lighting and building controls top UK firms 2016 energy efficiency investment plans
Investors with €1bn to spend on energy efficiency seek UK projects
Environment Agency working out if 3,000 firms actually qualify for Esos scheme
Government should subsidise energy efficiency over renewables and give Esos teeth
Esos firing blanks on board level buy-in to energy efficiency
How to make energy efficiency more robust and investible
The heat is on, but which technologies will decarbonise heat at lowest cost?
Heatpumps, biomass and CHP top firms’ heat investments for 2016
Brussels increases focus on energy efficient heating and cooling
Financing energy efficiency – free report
Free report: Directors’ Energy Report 2016
Free report: Demand-side response 2016
Click here to see if you qualify for a free subscription to the print magazine, or to renew.
Follow us at @EnergystMedia. For regular bulletins, sign up for the free newsletter.
Interesting re SMEs especially. Incidentally the standard Europe-wide definition of an SME is up to 500 rather than 250 employees – would using that definition alter any of your conclusions?
In short no. We went with UK gov’s SME definition as UK focused survey. So far there are only 12 responses from firms with between 250-500 employees, and survey’s structured so that those captured by Esos take a different set of questions. There are only a handful of complete responses to date from 250-500 employee firms not captured by Esos, too few to draw conclusions.
Shortage of money is evidently not, however, a barrier to energy waste.
I lead the Energy Efficiency Finance division of Capitas Finance where we specialise in the provision of flexible finance and funding solutions for energy efficiency projects in the UK and Ireland. We endeavour to tailor finance repayments to fall below the savings produced by the equipment making installation cost neutral or even cash positive from Q1 Year one. We have a team of expert Enhanced Capital Allowances consultants in house that can also assist with obtaining the Government tax benefits for equipment acquired from the Energy Technology List, and can help point SMEs to the new Carbon Trust Green Business Fund which allows a high level energy audit and discounts off equipment purchased.
Working closely with a global insurer, in many cases we are able to offer insurance backed energy savings for technologies and projects that qualify.
Jason J Hunter, Associate Director, Energy Efficiency Finance DIvision – Capitas Finance Ltd