LONDON, August 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
- Research identifies opportunity for businesses to unlock competitive advantage through their energy strategy
Most businesses will take control of their own energy use by generating a quarter of their electricity onsite by 2025, with 77% of businesses in the UK and Ireland predicting this change will take place in just seven years.
In a study of over 1,000 businesses, Centrica Business Solutions has been working to identify the key drivers and barriers to adopting new energy approaches including battery storage, on-site generation and demand side response.
Around a quarter (26%) of businesses have already invested in on-site generation in the form of solar and/or combined heat and power (CHP) with a third considering investing in these technologies. The increase in demand for flexibility that sees businesses rewarded for increasing, decreasing or shifting their energy use has been identified as an opportunity by 44% of businesses planning to feed energy into the grid in future.
The study of businesses from the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the UK and Ireland identified that 'energy leaders', defined as those businesses that have adopted strategies to use energy efficiently and effectively, were more than twice as likely to unlock competitive advantage from their energy. Businesses reported strong financial performance, being a leading brand in their market, and attracting and retaining the best talent.
The survey also revealed however that while 29% of businesses in the UK and Ireland consider themselves to have a formalised energy strategy in place, far fewer have specific targets or budgets in place to support their ambitions. For example, despite half (52%) of respondents citing having back-up in the event of a power outage as very important, just 18% have specific targets in place to address this. In a similar vein, only 16% of businesses have set targets to support the link between sustainable energy use and brand image despite being identified by almost half (49%) as very important.
Alan Barlow, Director of UK & Ireland at Centrica Business Solutions, said: "It's a great sign that businesses in the UK and Ireland are really forward thinking when it comes to their energy. Taking control of their energy use is clearly important to them, and companies think they'll be on the road to achieve this in a short space of time.
"This is where an energy strategy comes into play. Many of the global challenges facing businesses - emissions targets, risk reduction and increased onsite generation - can be addressed through better energy management.
"But getting an energy strategy right is key to unlocking these benefits, and achieving that ambitious 2025 prediction. Firms need to ensure that the energy challenges they have identified are covered in their strategies and have clearly defined actions, targets and budgets against them."
The research is described in the Energy Advantage Report.
Case study - Energy overhaul saves hospital £1 million a year
St George's Hospital Trust is the largest healthcare provider in southwest London with 8,500 dedicated staff. It serves 1.3 million people and operates one of the busiest A&E departments in London. The hospital had been relying on a 40-year-old energy centre and was in need of an efficiency upgrade. Centrica Business Solutions created a new energy strategy for the hospital, which included a new energy centre and combined heat and power (CHP), boilers, efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and a building management system (BMS). Over the course of the 15-year contract, the projected annual savings are more than £1 million. That's money that can be invested back into caring for patients and educating medical staff. It will also save 6,000 tonnes of carbon a year, equivalent to taking 3,000 cars off the road.
Notes to editors:
Statistics referenced in this release are taken from a survey of more than 1,000 respondents from six countries (UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, US, Canada), operating in six sectors (Healthcare, Education, Property/Real Estate, Manufacturing, Retail,). All organisations had more than 100 employees and qualifying respondents came from organisations using, trialling or considering advanced energy solutions and had management and/or financial responsibility for energy decisions.
Centrica plc is an international energy and services company. Our purpose is to provide energy and services to satisfy the changing needs of our customers.
We've been serving customers for over 200 years and aim to be at the centre of their daily lives - central to helping them run their world.
Distributed Energy and Power is part of our global division, Centrica Business, and has operations across 4,000 customer sites in 34 countries.
Under the Centrica Business Solutions brand, we deliver integrated energy solutions, combining distributed energy technologies and a variety of commercial options to help businesses and other large energy users to improve performance and cost management, strengthen resilience, and create opportunities for growth.
- 32% considering or planning to invest in solar in the next two years, 30% considering or planning to invest in combined heat and power (CHP) in the next two years