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Sustainability

How businesses can get smart on energy usage

A poll from Tyl by NatWest shows how small businesses are helping to tackle climate change which could save them money too.

The researchers found that among SMEs:

  • 54% of businesses spent £3,000 or more on annual energy bills (as of September 2021)
  • 70% of business owners believe that energy bills impact business growth
  • 72% of business owners adopt energy efficiency measures within the workplace
  • energy efficient LED lightbulbs are the most popular energy efficiency intervention

The case for going green

With more than 3.2m UK businesses operating from a physical space[2], it’s understandable that energy accounts for a significant part of their outgoings. However, the Tyl by NatWest survey suggests that 37% are unaware of the support they’re entitled to from the government. Support which is directly aimed at improving their energy efficiency. This ranges from environmental tax relief to capital allowances for energy efficient equipment.

Get more information on the government support available.

However, action in support of the environment is not just a financial consideration.  

Keli King, owner of The Little Green Pantry, is just one of many business owners that sees the added value in turning to sustainable practices: “I find that now, more than ever, shoppers are thinking carefully about where their goods come from, and the journey they’ve taken to get there. Businesses that react to this – and adjust their supply chains and environmental practices accordingly – are the ones who are going to win among this new cohort of eco-conscious consumers.”

Tips you might like to follow:

So what are SMEs doing to become more green? And what might they need to consider next?

The three most popular ways to reduce emissions are: 

  • using energy efficient LED lighting (40%)
  • turning off production equipment at the end of each working day (38%)
  • using a smart meter to review energy usage (34%)

The good news is that businesses are saving money, and it’s thought that 19% save between £2,000 and £3,000 a year through measures like those listed above. Other interventions include using electric vehicles, completing energy audits and using insulation. 

Read the full results of the survey, and learn more about making your business sustainable, here.

Notes

[1] Poll undertaken with 500 UK SME owners by 3rd party Mindshare in September 2021

[2] Based on Statista figures from 2020 - https://www.statista.com/statistics/319917/uk-business-locations/

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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