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SMEs spending too much on energy

UK service sector SMEs are wasting over £414 million per annum on unnecessary energy expenditure according to a new report.

The research, conducted by the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme, suggests that inefficient technology and old equipment is the biggest problem.

EEF scrutinised the use of lighting, heating and hot water, cooling and ventilation and other areas of energy consumption across key sectors. The study has revealed that potential energy savings of over £414 million could be achieved every year by the UK's service sector were small businesses to invest in more energy-efficient equipment.

The EEF scheme is a joint initiative between the Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services, providing finance for the acquisition of energy-efficient and renewable energy equipment, especially for SMEs.

Richard Baker, Sales Manager of the EEF scheme, said: 

"Today's tightened credit environment makes it increasingly difficult for SMEs to obtain affordable funding. Consequently, many firms feel discouraged from investing in green technologies because of insufficient access to capital. However, with funding available from innovative schemes like EEF, where expected savings pay for the investment, organisations can now act on their green endeavour without having to worry about upfront capital."

Myles McCarthy, Managing Director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services, said: 

"By investing in energy-efficient equipment as well as renewable energy technology, businesses can reap significant energy savings and cut down on their energy bills.
"Any sort of green investment is a step towards saving money, improving business competitiveness, and being a responsible citizen," she said. 
"Organisations that recognise the long-term benefits brought by energy efficiency will no doubt be better positioned than their competitors to grow their businesses more sustainably and profitably."

The EEF scheme provides finance for a wide range of green technologies, such as low energy lighting, solar PV, energy-efficient motors, low carbon air conditioning and biomass heating. Prior to finance being approved, the Carbon Trust conducts an independent energy savings assessment, providing businesses with projected energy savings and potential income generation data.

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