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22 July 2011 | Adam Leach
Energy buyers are more concerned with
cost and security of supply than complying with legislation, a report says.
annual Business Energy Index by npower, published this week, found that businesses
see fluctuating costs and supply levels as the biggest risks to managing
energy. Scoring highest – with 10 denoting very high risk – was supply costs
(6.6), then security of supply (6.1). Legislative compliance and reputation followed
energy being identified as a significant risk to overall business performance
(5.7), many companies have yet to establish formal energy management policies.
While 91 per cent of businesses have a formal policy for managing health and
safety (4.8 as an overall risk), only 83 per cent have one for energy.
Cockshott, director of industrial and commercial markets at npower said: “It is
worrying that while businesses have identified that risks associated with
energy – from security of supply to cost – pose a real threat to their
immediate and future operations, many have admitted to not having a strategy in
place to manage it. While many businesses have embraced the benefits of energy
management and energy efficiency, when it comes to solutions to manage risk,
there is less of a focus.”
The report, which was based on
in-depth interviews with energy buyers from 200 small- and medium-sized enterprises
and 100 major energy users, also found that despite companies reporting a need
for self-generated energy, they don’t feel it is down to them to finance it,
with 61 per cent calling on the government to issue grants.