UK businesses will waste enough to energy in 2022 to power Greater London for more than seven years, says the latest report from eEnergy.
The energy transition and net zero specialists estimate that, on average, 30 per cent of all purchased energy is currently wasted in commercial buildings, alongside manufacturing and educational facilities.
According to eEnergy’s calculations, this means UK businesses will waste £33.9bn worth of energy this year.
Its forecasts are based on government data, including the latest digest of the UK energy statistics (DUKES) and the 366 per cent rise in gas prices following over the past 12 months – with fears over supply shortages only exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
eEnergy further argues that 24.2m tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually by investing in net zero services and insulation to boost energy efficiency, which would help pave the way to a greener future while cutting down bills.
For instance, it argues LED lighting alone could reduce a building’s energy consumption by up to 30 per cent – while behavioural changes through products such as smart meters can further cut down energy waste by another 15 per cent.
Businesses are not protected by the price cap like households, meaning they bear the brunt of soaring wholesale costs – which peaked earlier this month at an eye-watering £8 per therm.
Therefore, the opportunity to ration energy supplies sustainably is highly attractive.
Harvey Sinclair , chief executive of eEnergy said: “Businesses and public sector organisations are bracing themselves for a decade of higher energy costs and continued uncertainty. Yet, 30 percent of all energy is currently being needlessly wasted in buildings across the UK. Given this month’s record energy prices, this wastage is set to cost UK businesses £33.9bn, threatening to derail the post-Covid recovery, and putting jobs and much needed investment at risk.”
This is not the first report to warn of spiralling energy prices, with Squeaky warning last month that businesses and retail face spiralling energy costs this year.
So far, the government has largely shied away from proposals to reduce energy consumption through consumer behaviour, while suppliers such as EoN and Ovo Energy have faced severe social media criticism for providing patronising help.
This includes advice to cuddle pets and do star jumps to cut down energy usage, alongside free socks for consumers.
While recognising a e balance to be struck, Utilita Energy chief executive Bill Bullen argued that reducing energy consumption was crucial to keeping bills down across the country.
Echoing thoughts expressed in an earlier this year, he told City A.M. “the big green elephant in the room” is energy efficiency.