For UK firms - no escaping rising energy prices

Industry comment

Published: 19 February

Author: Alan O'Brien

Type: Industry comment

Year: 2012

 For UK firms - no escaping rising energy prices and need for Energy Performance Certificates likely to increase investment in energy efficiency

  • And major report by Siemens UK reveals that 70% of firms plan to invest in energy efficiency projects in the next three years
  • Reducing energy costs is the primary reason for investment
  • Energy Performance Certificates become law for commercial buildings after 6 April 2012 – or risk a £5k fine

London – Sabien Technology Group plc (AIM: SNT): Nearly half of UK firms are planning to invest in energy efficiency projects in the next three years - in an effort to reduce rising energy costs, yet over 40% of businesses interviewed cite legislation as a reason to reduce energy consumption, a study shows.

Over 600 companies, both large and small, took part in The Green League Survey carried out by electronics giant Siemens UK* to gauge the impact of the green agenda on the business community.

The report is published as new government regulations are about to become law – Energy Performance Certificates will become a legal requirement for all UK commercial buildings marketed after 6 April 2012.

From that date, all sales brochures of a building must be backed by an EPC, and local Trading Standards representatives will have the authority to demand proof of EPCs can issue fines of up to £5,000 if an EPC is not produced.

“Companies are continuing to invest in energy efficiency, as the Siemens’ report reveals,” said Sabien CEO Alan O’ Brien – “and we are seeing this, demand for our energy efficiency technology has increased by over 30% compared to the same period last year. The fact that EPC’s are about to become law will expose the energy efficiency rating of a commercial building. Any building which does perform well may impact its sale or rental value, increasing pressures on commercial landlords,” he said.

“The pressure is further compounded as all the signs point to energy prices rising,” he added.

“Wholesale gas prices have soared by 50% since cold snap hit at the beginning of the month (February), hitting £0.93/therm, the highest level since 2006.”

“These increases are bound to be passed onto UK businesses. And if you take on board that the Siemens UK report shows that 70% of firms surveyed view cost reduction as the main reason for tackling their energy bills, then the combination of rising energy prices and the necessity to secure EPCs going forward should be a compelling factor in implementing  energy efficiency technology,” he said.

The Siemens UK report suggests that a “perceived lack of return on investment” has been a barrier to investing in green technology in the past, the survey shows.

But Sabien Technology’s patented M2G energy efficiency technology can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by as much as 25% from the existing commercial boilers.”

“Our clients can typically achieve a return on their investment in less than 18 months, following the installation of M2G. The low cost, track record and non disruptive installation provide our clients with a proven technology to mitigate the impacts of rising energy costs and legislation,” said O’Brien.

SIEMENS UK survey snapshot:

  • 70% of firms surveyed view cost reduction as the main reason to tackle their energy consumption
  • 40% state they are making good progress – but need to more to tackle energy management.
  • 70% of firms plan to invest in energy efficiency projects in the next three years
  • Firms are likely to focus their energy efficiency initiatives on reducing their bills associated with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning of their premises.

To download the Siemens report please click here