Cost savings more important than regulatory compliance, says industry poll

Energy efficiency adoption within UK businesses is being driven by cost saving and carbon footprint reduction objectives and not compliance, according to an industry survey.

The study, by electrical and electronic equipment distributor RS Components, questioned facilities and maintenance engineers within 108 UK businesses that are actively implementing energy efficient solutions.

Overall, 58% of facilities and maintenance engineers said that reducing energy cost was their primary reason for implementing energy efficient solutions, with 29% aiming to reduce carbon footprint as a result. Just 13% of respondents were prompted to become more energy efficient by regulatory compliance.

Return on investment in energy efficient products and services was high on the agenda behind cost saving, with 38% of those surveyed expected to see complete return on their investment within just three months and a further 33% within 12 months.

All respondents to the study are already implementing energy efficient solutions within their sites, and these findings suggest these businesses are experiencing fast and significant reductions in energy consumption as a result.

The study also explored which areas within facilities and maintenance are already realising energy efficiency improvements. 58% of businesses focus on lighting, 33% on heating, cooling and ventilation with 8% engaging with general maintenance and upgrades.

Neil Harrison, market development manager at RS Components said: “The findings are very encouraging and clearly demonstrate near-term return on investment and efficiency improvements can be achieved to satisfy the overwhelming desire of businesses to reduce costs in energy consumption and lower carbon footprint.

“In combination, the study’s findings suggest that implementing energy efficient lighting solutions delivers significant cost savings through energy reduction, improves carbon footprint and is able to return the business’s investment largely within 12 months, and in many cases within a three-month timeframe. Hopefully this industry evidence will help energy managers to secure the budget they need to deliver a positive impact on the business.”

In its own business, RS Components has replaced 1,382 light bulbs at its Corby headquarters with energy efficient lamps. Over three years, this has resulted in a saving of 345.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions from lighting alone. Based on the likely CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) fee of £12 per tonne of CO2, RS has reduced the amount it will need to spend on allowances by £4,146 for lighting alone.