With more than one million UK small businesses currently on fixed contracts above market rates, businesses are being urged by industry experts at Energy Sustainability Consultancy, Advantage Utilities, to explore greener forms of energy generation and optimisation of existing consumption to mitigate against colder temperatures this Winter.
In their latest quarterly market report, Advantage Utilities acknowledge that the mild Winter of 2022 provided timely relief for businesses that were already struggling to cope with surging energy prices. The unexpectedly mild weather meant that disaster was averted and muted potential shortages in Europe never came to fruition.
However, there is no guarantee that Winter 2023 will be a repeat of the previous year. There is also uncertainty over the speed at which increased demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be fulfilled.
Potential risks to business stability have been further amplified by the recent scaling back of Government financial support to commercial organisations in relation to energy prices, meaning the vast majority of commercial organisations no longer stand to benefit.
Combining all of these risk factors with analyst predictions that energy prices are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels for at least 3 to 4 years, the report recommended that businesses focus on onsite energy generation and smarter consumption. Not only will these actions help commercial organisations to minimise energy costs but will also work towards realising their existing net zero ambitions.
Advantage Utilities CEO Andrew Grover, welcomes the findings of the new report commenting that it reinforces the need for businesses to remain vigilant in the run-up to Winter.
“We regularly remind our customers that the cheapest unit of energy is the one not consumed. In addition, the greenest form of energy generation is often the most affordable method of consumption. That’s why now is the perfect time for businesses to review how they have been using their energy in recent months, where they can reduce grid reliance, overall usage and particularly wastage.”
“An energy audit is the best place to start when trying to identify potential ways to reduce costs and improve a businesses’ overall energy efficiency. It looks at everything from the structure of the building to the equipment in use. giving businesses an in-depth understanding of current energy usage. In fact, a good audit could lead to a significant reduction in energy use often resulting in a 10% – 40% reduction in costs.” he adds.