Go Green, Reduce Energy Costs

Carbon Trust

New survey shows majority of companies expect double-digit rise in energy prices over the next three years

The Carbon Trust has launched a new business to help UK companies reduce their energy costs and install greener, more efficient technology. The launch comes as a new survey by the Carbon Trust has found that 76% of companies are more concerned than they were six months ago by rising energy costs and are very concerned about its impact on their business. Over half are expecting energy price rises of at least 11% over the next three years.

The survey shows that while companies recognise the opportunity to improve energy efficiency, they are held back by three barriers: insufficient time or resources; being able to quantify the expected returns and energy efficiency being a lower priority than other business considerations. A third of respondents (35%) don’t currently have a plan in place to manage energy price rises but acknowledge that they should make one.

The new business, Carbon Trust Implementation services, removes these barriers by providing independent, objective evaluation of the most effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for a company; a means of choosing trusted, accredited suppliers to carry out the work and helping customers to run competitive tenders for their projects. This unique service is funded by a flat rate commission from suppliers, meaning there is no cost to the company itself in obtaining this support.

Tom Delay, chief executive at the Carbon Trust states:

“Over the last ten years, the Carbon Trust has helped thousands of organisations implement simple but effective energy efficiency measures which have paid for themselves within a few years. We know many more companies are concerned about rising energy costs and want to act, but they need help. The new business will help unlock £9 billion of investment into energy efficient equipment. We are confident that our new business will catalyse organisations to take action and in turn benefit from implementing cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and help the UK capitalise on green growth.”

Peach Pubs, the owner of an independent group of quality gastro pubs around the UK, is the first company to take advantage of Carbon Trust Implementation services. Jo Eames, Director explains:

“As our business continues to grow, we are very aware of the impact of energy costs and we are aiming to reduce this bill by 20% year-on-year. The challenge is finding objective advice which pinpoints the projects that will deliver the best returns. The Carbon Trust’s new model offers an innovative way of offering this advice at no cost to a business. To date we have reduced our carbon footprint by banning air-freighted food and using seasonal British ingredients, but with rising costs, switching to more energy efficient practices has never made more sense, and with the Carbon Trust Implementation services – it’s never been so easy.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“In these tough times for business, using energy more wisely and creating your own clean green power can help cut bills and improve the bottom line, which is why this new advice service from the Carbon Trust is so welcome.”

The new service goes hand-in-hand with the flexible Energy Efficiency Financing scheme that the Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services Ltd (SFS) launched in April 2011, the aim of which is to provide UK businesses with green equipment finance worth up to £550 million over the next three years. Under this scheme SFS provides the financial backing and the Carbon Trust uses its expertise in carbon saving from energy efficient technologies to assess the carbon, energy and cost savings of any application. This enables the financing to pay for itself through energy savings, resulting in no net cost to the customer.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, welcomed the new service and commented:

“Historically businesses have massively underestimated the returns from energy efficiency investments. Even simple things like upgrading lighting and heating would deliver a good rate of return. And it’s not just about maximising profit. It also creates other benefits including greater staff involvement with the business through training and behavior change.”

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