February 23, 2024

SME BUSINESS NEWS

Small Business News from NTSI

Energy efficiency is a priority for forty six percent of UK business owners

As the UK announces plans to become a world leader in green energy, analysis shows that the commercial sector still has a long way to go. 

Research* of SMEs by  Energy found that despite nearly half of UK businesses (46%) actively working on their energy efficiencyless than one fifth have achieved an energy performance rating of B or higher. 

The supplier also analysed 31,000 energy usage records and compared them to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). It found that a one place improvement in energy performance banding would deliver savings of 28 per cent for electricity and 23 per cent for gas – cutting the average business energy bill by a quarter. 

The overall cost differences between bands A to C compared to the lower bands of D to F is significantwith savings of 51 per cent for electricity and 42 per cent for gas. The analysis showed that, in some cases, savings of more than 60 per cent were achievable.  

Despite the monetary benefits, over two fifths (41%) of UK business owners admit to not knowing their business’ EPC rating. 

The average energy usage % saved of an A-C EPC rating vs. a D-G rating by industry** per year 
   

Electricity usage (Kwh) by m2 

 

Gas usage (Kwh) by m2 

 

Industry 

A to C EPC  D to G EPC  % saved  A to C EPC  D to G EPC  % saved 
Office  51  127  -59%  101  168  40% 
Clinic or Health Centre  54  93  -42%  100  196  49% 
Sports, Leisure Centre and Swimming Pools  77  173  -56%  218  540  60% 
Care Homes  60  103  -42%  189  336  44% 
Library, Museum or Art Gallery  50  106  -53%  106  186  43% 
Industrial Workshops and Manufacturing  41  95  -57%  76  171  55% 
Theatres, Halls or Performing Arts Venues  80  230  -65%  149  322  54% 
Hospitality   81  192  -58%  162  365  55% 
Retail  94  215  -56%  98  180  45% 
Hair and Beauty  94  190  -51%  150  238  37% 

Simon Smith, Director Sales and Marketing at  Energy said: 

EPCs provide a view on a building’s potential energy efficiency but they don’t factor in actual energy usage. Therefore, it is difficult for businesses to calculate how much they are likely to pay based only on a building’s EPC. 

“By combining these we’re able to see the real impact of efficiency banding on a business’ energy bills and, whilst the efficiency of commercial premises has improved over recent years, there is still a huge opportunity for UK businesses to make savings.  

“There can be a substantial saving made by moving up even one EPC band and most efficiency measures that improve your banding can be paid back within a couple of years. Many businesses can also apply for energy grants that could provide up to 50% contribution to costs.” 

Almost one in three (30%) business owners have introduced energy efficiency measures since the pandemic to cut costs. Nearly half of those asked had installed a smart meter (47%) and stated they use energy efficient lighting (48%) and energy efficient appliances (46%).  

Most Popular Energy Efficient Methods for UK Businesses  
Energy efficient lighting  48% 
Energy efficient appliances  46% 
Switching off unused plugs  43% 
Smart meters  39% 
Thermostats  31% 
Roof insulation  27% 
Double glazing   26% 
Monitor energy use  21% 
Draught proof property   16% 

In response,  Energy has released an energy health check tool which allows business to calculate whether its energy usage could be excessive for its size and type, and its average cost based on EPC ratings. 

Since 2018, 192,000 non-domestic EPC certificates have been issued to business premises. While 65% have been issued a C or D, only 14% are B or higher, with 21% of business with very poor efficiency lagging in band E or lower. 

The  Energy health check tool is suitable for all business types and sizes and is available to view here.