Nearly half (47%) of all businesses are overlooking simple opportunities to save thousands on their energy bills, despite more than two-thirds (68%) prioritising operational efficiencies in 2012, according to new research by British Gas.
The businesses that are focusing on driving efficiencies from their energy spend are seeing savings of up to 20% on their bills through simple efficiency steps such as installing a smart meter, according to the study.
The findings come at a time when 75% of businesses say rising energy costs are their number one concern in managing their overheads.
But when asked about the biggest barriers to taking steps to make savings on their bills:
● 80% of businesses say they want to keep the time they spend managing energy to a minimum
● 51% of businesses say they need help identifying options for reducing their energy costs.
British Gas said that smart meters can help businesses tackle these barriers and make significant savings to their bills, as well as save time by putting an end to estimated bills, allowing them to pay for the energy they use, as they use it.
Despite these benefits, take-up of smart meters remains low, with just 29% of businesses saying they have had the new technology installed.
The research follows British Gas's launch of Business Energy Insight in February - a free smart meter based service that gives businesses the tools and support to understand their energy usage and implement measures to reduce it. British Gas is the leading supplier of smart meters to UK businesses, with more than 200,000 smart meters on its customers' walls, and a further 200,000 installations planned for 2012.
"Our business customers tell us that controlling costs is their number one priority. And we recognise that energy costs are a big part of this," said Marc England, managing director of SME Energy, British Gas Business.
"With 200,000 smart meters planned for installation this year and the launch of Business Energy Insight in February, we're committed to giving our customers the technology and support they need to make energy savings a reality."
Business Energy Insight is a free service that gives businesses the tools and support to understand their energy usage and implement measures to reduce it.
Rick Green, owner of the Sydney Arms in Dorchester, a pub and B&B, has just started using Business Energy Insight. He said: "Like most businesses, making big investments in energy efficiency measures is not currently a priority for us. We have a number of fridges behind the bar as well as a large cellar which needs constant chilling.
"Our smart meter is starting to open our eyes to how and when we use energy. We're now working with British Gas through Business Energy Insight to think about how we can manage our usage better and reduce our bills. Their initial energy-saving suggestions have been really valuable and we think they will definitely make a difference in the long term."
For more information visit: www.businessenergyinsight.com
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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