Survey reveals energy worries

Concerns over rising energy prices and higher taxes outweigh those of complying with the latest energy legislation, according to the latest survey of British businesses by the Carbon Trust.

More than half of the respondents from the 700 businesses questioned said that they are worried about current market conditions and 49 per cent said that energy price hikes were a cause for concern.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, concerns about energy prices are highest in industries with high energy use such as construction, manufacturing and hospitality.

Only one-fifth of businesses questioned said they were worried about a possible change in government while 13 per cent said they were complying with new environmental legislation.

However, one in seven of those polled said no one was responsible for their energy management practices.

The extent of business worries over energy prices was revealed as the Carbon Trust kicked off a drive to persuade British companies to stop wasting more than £3bn of energy every year. More than 40 per cent of the businesses interviewed said that one of their New Year resolutions is to reduce the amount of energy their business uses.

The Carbon Trust is offering a free survey to all businesses that spend between £50,000 and £3m on energy each year to provide an energy-saving action plan that could lead to savings on energy costs of between 20 and 30 per cent.

Leading the survey campaign, Ian Cheshire, said: ‘It is simply good business sense to be smarter about the way we use energy. It cuts costs, makes us more efficient and improves our reputation with customers. I would encourage any business that has yet to embark on the energy efficiency journey to pick up the phone and book in a Carbon Trust survey. It is likely to be the best piece of free advice a business will get this year.’

Cheshire, who is also the chief executive of Kingfisher, said that its subsidiary B&Q has significantly cut its energy costs and made a carbon saving of 10,000 tonnes of CO2 by working with the Carbon Trust since 2008.

More information about Carbon Trust’s Best Advice scheme can be found here: