Companies operating within the hospitality and leisure sector are struggling to tame high energy bills, and are weighing up the closure of their businesses.
A quarter of bosses working across the hospitality and leisure sector are considering shutting for good in the next 12 months, according to new research commissioned by eEnergy.
The energy services group commissioned a poll of 300 UK business owners and senior executives, carried out by Censuswide.
It revealed 83 per cent were considering making redundancies or reducing staff hours to cope with rising prices.
Meanewhile, three quarters have considered reducing opening hours in response to rising energy bills.
There is also concern among business leaders that the long-term effects will have an even greater impact on a sector still recovering from Covid lockdowns and supply chain challenges.
Over 90 per cent of business leaders surveyed said they did not expect energy prices to return to last year’s levels within the next 12 months.
Unlike households, businesses are not included in the price cap – making them more vulnerable to sudden spikes in wholesale costs.
While the unfolding crisis has been caused by record energy prices, eEnergy has argued it has been exacerbated by poor energy efficiency.
Around 94 per cent of businesses have reported that they waste more than a fifth of their energy each year.
Of the businesses surveyed, a quarter said that introducing better energy efficiency measures was the long-term solution, while nearly a third (29 per cent) called for a government support scheme to be introduced to help the sector.
Amid the crisis, demand for energy efficiency solutions has jumped; from installing LED lighting, to using energy analytics to identify inefficient machinery or drive positive behavioural change.
Harvey Sinclair, chief executive of eEnergy, said: “The hospitality and leisure sector has been played a terrible hand over the past two years. Sky-high energy prices have heaped pressure on businesses still reeling from Covid-19. With many business owners considering redundancies or even closure, solutions are needed now, but we do not need to wait for government intervention. We believe the answer is simple: cutting energy waste and carbon should be as accessible as any subscription service, without upfront costs.”