Why no business can ignore energy efficiency

By Lindsay Ventress
Lindsay Ventress, Principal Consultant & Service Line Lead – Energy, at EcoAct, highlights the importance of energy efficiency for all businesses

The cost-of-living crisis has seen energy prices continue to rise, with many organisations in the UK now seeing monthly energy bills double that of a few months ago, and in some worst-case scenarios as much as 36% of a bill is wasted energy. That means energy efficiency has never been more important.

Energy efficiency – a steady guard against instability and risk

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, 40% of business have cash reserves for three months or less. A strong energy efficiency strategy should help to mitigate these risks, while the money saved can be used to invest back in the business to grow in other areas, such as staffing.

As of April 2022, 54% of Fortune 500 companies have overarching carbon emission reduction targets – yet only 13% have a specific energy efficiency goal. Based on EcoAct’s Climate Reporting and Performance Report in 2021, 66% of FTSE 100 companies are now committed to net-zero (an increase from 45% in 2020). With a growing push for change, the positive impact that businesses can make on our future is enormous but positive intent needs to be turned into action.

How clever re-thinking of current spaces could provide energy efficiency upgrades

As companies adjust to hybrid working and employees are choosing to work remotely, offices can be reassessed with energy usage in mind. An energy efficient office can save up to 65% on energy bills. However, businesses need to go beyond simply switching to LEDs or replacing their windows.

Some businesses can be limited in how they refit current spaces, especially in the case of listed buildings. However, there are ways to ensure that energy-efficient savings comply with national and local laws.

In 2019, EcoAct worked with one client to drive efficiency improvements, following the opportunities identified in their ESOS Compliance auditing activities undertaken in 2018. In the space of just a few months, improvements were implemented and savings realised across a number of premises, realising a greater value in energy cost savings, than the cost of the initial audit programme.

Building a net-zero energy culture in the workplace

Energy efficiency is only one part of the net-zero picture, as an effective net-zero strategy is not solely about carbon. It’s about creating competitive advantage, improving efficiency, reducing costs and driving innovation to create a new business as usual. At EcoAct, our experts address all climate, carbon and energy challenges and our dedicated research and innovation team keeps us ahead of the sustainability agenda for clients in every sector.

Lindsay Ventress is Principal Consultant & Service Line Lead – Energy, at EcoAct, an Atos company

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