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Shrink your Bills: “Carbon Psychology” could save British Businesses up to £860 Million

  • Behavioural change could cut business energy use by over 8,400 GWh
  • Just 1% of businesses could drive 50% of the energy efficiency savings
  • Greatest savings possible among wholesale and retail businesses

Simple “carbon psychology” or behavioural change could drive UK industry energy savings of £860 million, a new report by npower Business Solutions (nBS) and the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) has found.

The largest potential savings could be achieved in the wholesale and retail (19.9%), administrative and support (11.4%), and manufacturing (10.8%) sectors. Larger businesses – comprising just 1% of UK industry – could alone achieve 50% of the savings, the report highlighted.

While the UK has made strides in energy efficiency, it has been outperformed by countries such as Belgium, Italy and Switzerland in terms of energy intensity reduction – and business savings lag those seen in the domestic sector, Cebr found.

The think tank highlighted that limited industry behavioural change policies mean only 18% of expected energy savings in UK industry will come from behavioural change by 2020 – far lower than is actually achievable. nBS has urged the government to do more to address the significant and low-cost opportunity to make major energy efficiency savings and promote business energy security.

Phil Griffiths, a Carbon Psychologist at npower Business Solutions, commented: “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 used the Business Population Estimates as provided by the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – which provide information on the number of companies disaggregated by size, sector and region – and the Carbon Trust’s “Empower Savings Calculator” to help generate the calculations across different industrial sectors.
 Cebr’s Board Member Vicky Pryce said: “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.”
ENDS