Behavioural change could bring about substantial reductions in business energy bills, research has suggested.

Behavioural change could bring about substantial reductions in business energy bills, research has suggested.

Firms 'could save up to £860m with carbon psychology'

Encouraging behavioural change and adopting a "carbon psychology" could help businesses across the UK achieve collective energy bill savings of up to £860 million.

That's according to a recent report from npower Business Solutions (nBS) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which revealed that making significant changes in operational methods and ways of thinking could reduce corporate energy use by over 8,400 gigawatt hours.

The research revealed that just one per cent of organisations - mostly larger firms with sizeable carbon footprints and therefore greater scope for efficiency gains - could drive 50 per cent of overall energy savings. A fifth (19.9 per cent) of potential energy reduction could be achieved in the wholesale and retail industry, putting this sector significantly ahead of the administrative and support (11.4 per cent) and manufacturing (10.8 per cent) industries.

Cebr and nBS acknowledged that there has been some encouraging progress on energy efficiency in the UK, but the country has fallen behind other European nations such as Belgium, Italy and Switzerland as far as energy intensity reduction is concerned.

Many businesses have the potential to make bigger contributions to the country's energy-saving efforts, with the report noting that reductions in commercial power consumption have lagged behind those in the domestic sector. Company adoption of behavioural change policies remains fairly limited, with these strategies expected to account for less than a fifth (18 per cent) of industry energy savings by 2020 - considerably less than is possible.

The government needs to take stronger action to realise the "significant and low-cost opportunity" to promote business energy security and make major efficiency improvements, according to nBS. Phil Griffiths, a carbon psychologist at the business energy solutions provider, said: "There is a huge opportunity for bigger businesses here - and they don't even need to invest to make substantial savings.

"The benefits of behavioural change on the bottom line are clear. Energy efficiency improvements result in a more motivated workforce, a positive impact on the UK balance of payments and significant emissions reductions."

Cebr board member Vicky Pryce added: "Our research shows that the UK's impressive record in reducing household energy intensity - which is far ahead of the European average - has not been matched in the industrial sector. Business - with the support of new behaviour change policy - should take note of the consumer and SME energy efficiency successes to date and replicate these to take advantage of significant savings."

Companies can get their energy efficiency efforts underway by implementing basic changes in the workplace, such as installing sustainable lighting systems, using the most efficient and highly rated appliances in workplace kitchens, and setting your heating and cooling systems to match the season and weather conditions.

If you outsource certain jobs or services to separate firms, such as cleaning companies, make sure that their green credentials meet the standards you are aiming for within your own organisation.


Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of iStock/Ismagilov