Energy Efficiency of SMEs

Energy Efficiency of SMEs

Last month the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), launched a call for evidence, with a view of gaining insights from our industry on an energy efficiency scheme for small and medium sized businesses. Over the past few years the government has consulted on, and brought into force, numerous reporting frameworks, and regulations, which have focused on reducing energy use and emissions, and improving energy efficiency of large UK companies. Two of the main examples of this being the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS), which is a four yearly audit of energy use completed by large UK undertakings, and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Framework (SECR), which mandates large UK companies and LLPs (quoted and unquoted) to report on their energy use, emissions and efficiency action in their annual reports.

However, the new proposed scheme would be aimed at SME’s, defined as having between 0 – 250 employees. According to BEIS, as of the start of 2018, there were 5.7 million SMEs, which accounted for 99.9% of UK businesses, employing over 16 million people. In terms of energy use, individually these companies consume modest amounts of energy, but collectively this is considerable. Their combined energy use accounts for 50% of UK business energy use, using approximately 58 TWh/yr. As their energy use is so collectively high, it may be questioned why this call for evidence wasn’t considered sooner but SMEs are a very dynamic group of companies, and climate change is such a complicated issue to tackle, it makes the implementation and enforcement of a framework potentially difficult. Nonetheless, government have now realised that, if the UK are the meet their long term carbon targets from the Climate Change Act, which aims for an 80% reduction is emissions by 2050, and the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit climate change to a 1.5 degree rise or less this century, SMEs must start to look to reduce their energy use and emissions.


At Elmhurst Energy Consultancy, we have been involved in compliance and energy management consultancy for over 25 years so we are also able to look beyond the mandatory frameworks to identify and demonstrate real benefits for companies, no matter their size, who wish to improve their energy efficiency. Regardless of any legal obligations, companies are able to make considerable cost savings by saving expenditure on energy. We are able to complete energy audits on energy use from buildings, transport and associated industrial activities, in a similar way to how we complete ESOS audits for larger companies. This is a great way for companies to learn how to effectively measure, manage and reduce their energy use, and will also highlight the key areas for improvement. SMEs can then look at the potential return on investment by completing energy efficiency improvements which will determine how quickly they will see savings. Using a qualified and experienced consultant is recommended for this because, unlike larger companies, SMEs don’t always have the resources to employ an in house member of staff who would be responsible for energy use, emissions and efficiency. Consultants are also able to provide a third party perspective on where savings can be made, whilst liaising with staff to understand business priorities, and to determine a long term integrated sustainability plan.

If you are part of an SME, who would like your say in how you think a new framework for helping SMEs to become more energy efficient should work, then we would encourage you to take part in the call for evidence. Please click here to follow the link to the call for evidence, with details of questions being considered and where to submit your feedback.

 Or if you are an SME looking to work with a consultant to find ways you can save money through reducing energy use, and associated energy costs, and also improve the efficiency of the business operations, please contact our team, and we would be more than happy to help. Our consultants have unrivalled experience in a wide variety of sectors, with a proven record of helping companies to save money and become more sustainable. Please either give us a call on 01455 883 259 or visit our website

Elmhurst Energy Consultancy are an energy consultancy service that specialise in the building and energy compliance sector. We help clients meet compliance with Building Regulations and Building Standards in a timely manner. For any enquiries, please contact us on 01455 883 259 or email us at

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