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.
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 www.elmhurstenergyconsultancy.co.uk