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1 npower Business energy index 2013

2 2 npower Business Energy Index npower Business Energy Index 2011 Contents 3 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND SAMPLE ENERGY MANAGEMENT EXTERNAL ADVICE AND ENERGY PURCHASING HABITS LEGISLATION AND CARBON REDUCTION BUSINESS AND ENERGY RISK CONCLUDING COMMENTARY... 42

3 4 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Research methodology & sample 5 INTrOduCTION research METHOdOLOGY & SAMPLE Dear Reader I am delighted to introduce the ninth npower Business Energy Index - nbei 9. This year the index is specifically analysing small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) perceptions and opinions on energy-related issues, including energy management, consumption, purchasing habits, legislation and risk. The UK economy remains in a fragile state with sluggish growth forecasts and tough trading conditions prevailing. This is also a time when the coalition government remains firmly on course to cut public spending and tackle the level of national debt. For all businesses, and in particular for, the harsh commercial landscape continues to present real challenges. The need to control costs, operate as efficiently as possible and remain competitive, remain high on the priority list for many seeking to ride out the current economic difficulties. An essential element is the role that energy, its consumption, its cost and its ongoing management, continues to play in the everyday running of any business. It is in this vital area we have sought the views of and shed light on their current activity when it comes to addressing energy issues. This is against a background of the recent introduction by the government of the much-publicised Green Deal and the potential impact on of Ofgem s Retail Market Reform, currently undergoing consultation. performance. Such businesses will be at the head of any UK economic revival. By concentrating on these organisations, we believe that nbei 9 will show the priority place on energy in the broad list of everyday challenges; how they plan to protect themselves from issues affecting competitiveness; what help are they looking for and what energy and cost reduction strategies they have currently or intend to implement. We have asked 500 of those responsible for energy purchasing in, across a wide range of industry sectors, questions to formulate an overview from which we, as an energy supplier, can assist with advice, practical help and product solutions. For other stakeholders, from the government to trade bodies, we believe that the findings will add insight so that the current energy status of is better understood and information and solutions continue to be planned and implemented to support them. I envisage that nbei 9 will generate debate, highlight areas of concern as well as positivity, and set out the key views of the nation s most important business community when it comes to energy-related matters. We hope you find the content of interest. research objectives The npower Business Energy Index (nbei) seeks to identify and monitor trends in, and expectations about, key energy market developments in the UK. The survey has been running since 2005 and is a barometer of issues affecting small business energy users. Specifically, the survey: measures and monitors the incidence and efficiency of energy management measures designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption; explores business attitudes and opinions on current and future public energy policies; and assesses business strategies that deal with energy risk. research methodology This survey was designed by npower, in conjunction with Opinion Matters and executed by Opinion Matters. A combination of telephone interviews and online surveying was conducted in March 2013 with a representative sample of 500 small and medium sized enterprises (). The respondents were responsible for energy purchasing within their business. This survey also has a number of new questions that were not covered in previous issues. Please note tracking questions provide a guide to trends in opinions and actions, but due to changes in sample sizes they cannot be compared directly. form the foundation of the UK business community. Figures from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills show that organisations employing fewer than 250 people are classified as a SME and now account for a staggering 99.9% of all private sector companies. They employ in total some 14 million staff. As such, have a dramatic and influential impact on the day-to-day vibrancy of the country s economic Phil Scholes SME markets director, npower 1 Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions 2012, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, October 2012

4 6 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary 6 7 npower Business Energy Index 2011 Energy management 7 ENErGY MANAGEMENT To gauge the current level of confidence and views on their future, were posed a series of statements and asked which applies most appropriately to their organisation at present. Perhaps reflecting the current economic conditions, the most popular statement was we are concerned for the future of our business, which accounted for over a third of responses. Other concerns were articulated, such as our outgoings are increasing too rapidly and we struggle to access the finance needed to prosper. Such sentiments are, however, balanced by the 32% who said that we are confident we will be able to grow in the future and 29% who said that we plan to recruit more staff over the next two years. Overall, there currently appears to be varied levels of business confidence among the SME community. Turning to the specific issues of energy cost and consumption, it is accepted that a strategic energy management approach should form a key part of any organisation s business plan. The findings of nbei 9 show that just 20% of categorise energy management and seeking reductions in energy use as a very important issue for their business. This is a statement most strongly echoed by in legal, HR, and sales and marketing sectors. With 48% of all saying energy accounts for between 25 50% of their total business costs, it is clear the control of energy and the ability to monitor and reduce consumption and therefore cost, is imperative for many small companies. When asked about the practical measures in place to tackle energy efficiency, while more than half (52%) say they have turned to their energy supplier to help, more than a fifth (23%) still do not take advantage of the expertise readily available via suppliers or by undertaking internal or external energy audits. However, encouragingly, this figure has fallen from the previous nbei in 2011, which showed that 53% of were failing to utilise the help available to them. For those that have implemented some form of energy management plan, the favoured examples appear to be ensuring unused equipment is turned off (59%), followed by regular monitoring of consumption, educating staff and undertaking an energy review and/or action plan. Least favoured actions include the installation of smart meters or introducing equipment meters. When looking at actual energy reduction achievements over the past twelve months, some 44% state they had managed to cut their consumption level by 5-10%, with in the architectural, engineering and building sectors showing this figure most prominently. This continues the upward trend seen in previous nbeis and is the highest figure yet for this level of consumption saving across. As ever, the issue of the cost of implementing energy efficiency measures provokes strong reactions. The majority of (53%) believe government grants should be forthcoming to assist in this area, followed by energy supplier grants. At a time when the Green Deal is starting to become available to both consumers and small business users as a method to finance energy efficiency solutions, it appears this call for government help is being matched with government action. That said, whether there is a widespread understanding of the Green Deal among is debatable and is a subject we will return to in legislation and carbon reduction. A slight majority (54%) said they owned their business premises, with the remainder under a rented occupancy status. Of those in rented accommodation, more than a third said their landlord had done nothing to improve the energy efficiency of the premises. Of those that had, 27% highlighted the recent addition of a new boiler or water heater, while 18% said loft insulation had been installed over the past year. For those responsible for their own building, the most popular energy efficiency improvement has been new light fixtures and fittings, followed by boiler servicing and loft insulation. Just under a fifth had installed a smart meter, while just 9% said they had done nothing. Overall, with often having limited resources in terms of staff and budgets to implement wide-scale change, more than a quarter said they did not have the management time or cash resources to invest in energy efficiency strategies and implementation. They were asked about quick-wins that could contribute to the biggest savings payback. Again, turning off unused equipment and lights were highlighted as inexpensive and easy measures to take, with consumption monitoring also cited. This follows the trend seen in the previous nbei. The least favoured actions were introducing equipment or smart meters both of which require an element of planning and resource to deliver. Indeed, when specifically asked about the use of smart meters at their premises or sites, 57% said they did not have any compared to 38% who said they did have them. When asked why this was the case, over half said they were unsure of the benefits, with 32% saying the associated costs were too high. Inconvenience of installation was also another factor cited as a barrier. When we last asked this question in nbei 8 in 2011, just 17% of had smart meters, so the current jump to 38% is encouraging. For those using smart meters, the benefits of monitoring energy consumption more effectively and the ability to gain an accurate bill and eliminate estimated readings, were the two most popular reasons given for their decision to install smart meters. Looking to the future, and given the current economic climate, encouragingly, some 59% of stated they planned to increase energy management and efficiency measures. However, nearly one in five (18%) said they would reduce work in this area. When asked about their rationale for implementing energy efficiency measures, indicate a fairly equal weighting for both environmental and cost benefits as their primary motive a stance also replicated when asked about their rationale for energy management initiatives generally.

5 8 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary 8 9 npower Business Energy Index 2011 Energy management 9 ENErGY MANAGEMENT Table 1: How significant an issue for your company is energy management and reducing your energy consumption? On a scale 1-10, where 10 = very important Table 3: What steps has your company taken in the last/next 6 months to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency? nbei nbei nbei nbei nbei nbei nbei nbei nbei Last 6 Next 6 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) SME months months N/A Average Undertaken an energy review and/or action plan 49% 18% 33% The significance of energy management is rated at 8 by 21% of people Monitor consumption regularly 55% 23% 21% 25% of businesses which employ employees rate energy management at 10 25% of businesses which employ employees rate energy management at 10 The significance attached to energy management is at its highest level since the index began Introduced equipment meters Increased lighting efficiency 27% 47% 24% 23% 49% 30% Table 2: Does your company measure its energy efficiency using any of the following methods? Increased heating efficiency - reduce heat loss 44% 24% 32% Select all that apply Ensured unused equipment is turned off 59% 17% 24% (7) Changed equipment/technology 32% 27% 41% Energy supplier 13% 32% 52% External audits 8% 11% 22% Internal audits 8% 19% 34% Other 2% 13% 0% No measurement 69% 53% 23% 52% of people measure their company s energy efficiency through the energy supplier 34% of people use internal audits to measure their company s energy efficiency All methods of measuring energy efficiency have increased Requested information, e.g. from Carbon Trust 27% 22% 52% Educated staff 49% 21% 31% Installed smart meters 24% 29% 47% 49% of have undertaken an energy review and/or action plan in the last 6 months and 18% plan to undertake an energy review and/or action plan in the next 6 months More than half (55%) have monitored consumption regularly in the last 6 months and nearly one quarter (23%) plan to monitor consumption regularly in the next 6 months More than a quarter (27%) introduced equipment meters in the last 6 months and nearly a quarter (24%) plan to introduce equipment meters in the next 6 months 47% have increased lighting efficiency in the last 6 months and 23% plan to increase lighting efficiency in the next 6 months

6 10 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Energy management 11 ENErGY MANAGEMENT Table 4: Are you able to allocate your energy costs by usage? Yes 57% No 43% More than half (57%) of are able to allocate their energy costs by usage Table 5: By how much have you managed to reduce your overall energy consumption in the last 12 months? (6) (7) Nil 41% 18% 26% 8% Less than 5% 27% 37% 29% 19% Table 6: How do you think energy efficiency projects for businesses should be financed? Select all that apply Bank loan 12% Government grant 53% Energy supplier grant 43% The business wishing to undertake the project 28% Other 0.60% 53% of businesses think that energy efficiency projects should be financed by government grant 43% of businesses think that energy efficiency projects should be financed by energy supplier grant 5% to 10% 6% 31% 21% 44% 11% to 20% 2% 5% 5% 16% More than 20% - - 1% 4% Exact % given by: 10% 7% 27% - Don t know 14% 3% 18% 8% Average of exact percentages: 15% 18% 16% - Table 7: Do you rent or own your premises? (7) Rent 49% 46% 46% Own 51% 54% 54% 54% of businesses own their premises 46% of businesses rent their premises 44% have managed to reduce their overall energy consumption in the last 12 months by 5% to 10% 16% have managed to reduce their overall energy consumption in the last 12 months by more than 20%

7 12 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Energy management 13 ENErGY MANAGEMENT Table 8: For those who rent, what has your landlord done to improve the energy efficiency of your premises? Select all that apply New light fixtures and fittings 71% 27% New boiler or water heater 57% 27% Boiler servicing 57% 24% AA rated appliances 43% 16% Loft insulation 86% 18% Cavity insulation 86% 16% Carried out energy audits 29% 14% Installed a smart meter 14% 12% Other - 0.4% Nothing - 36% Table 9: What have you done to improve the energy efficiency of your premises? Select all that apply New light fixtures and fittings 78% 55% New boiler or water heater 47% 35% Boiler servicing 61% 45% AA rated appliances 51% 29% Loft insulation 65% 41% Cavity insulation 39% 34% Carried out energy audits 35% 32% Installed a smart meter 19% 19% Nothing - 8% Other, please specify - 3% 36% of who rent their premises have had nothing done by the landlord to improve the energy efficiency of their premises, but 27% have had a new boiler or water heater installed and 18% have benefited from loft insulation 55% of have installed new light fixtures and fittings, 45% have had their boiler serviced and 41% have looked to loft insulation to improve the energy efficiency of their premises

8 14 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Energy management 15 ENErGY MANAGEMENT Table 10: Which of the following quick-win efficiency measures would give you the biggest payback? High, low or do not know Table 11: Which of the following quick-win efficiency measures would give you the biggest payback? High, low or do not know % responded High (7) % responded Low (7) Monitoring consumption more regularly 33% 45% 51% Monitoring consumption more regularly 64% 50% 31% Introducing equipment meters 20% 27% 35% Introducing equipment meters 78% 64% 38% Introducing smart meters - 34% 38% Introducing smart meters - 57% 39% Lights are off when not needed 63% 73% 57% Lights are off when not needed 36% 24% 30% Equipment is off when not needed 68% 78% 62% Equipment is off when not needed 31% 19% 25% Use more efficient equipment 41% 67% 54% Use more efficient equipment 57% 30% 29% Use more efficient lighting/heating 55% 70% 57% Use more efficient lighting/heating 45% 29% 26% Heat loss from the building is minimised 60% 68% 58% Heat loss from the building is minimised 45% 28% 25% Educate staff in energy efficiency 52% 64% 50% Educate staff in energy efficiency 45% 32% 34% The majority of deem switching off equipment as being a quick win efficiency measure providing a high payback The areas with the lowest paybacks were introducing equipment meters, smart meters and monitoring consumption more regularly

9 16 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Energy management 17 ENErGY MANAGEMENT Table 12: Do you have the management time and cash resources to invest in energy efficiency? Yes or no Management time Cash resources (7) (7) Yes 31% 28% 55% 34% 22% 40% No 69% 72% 45% 66% 78% 60% 55% said they have the management time to invest in energy efficiency 40% said they have the cash resources to invest in energy efficiency 26% said they don t have the management time or cash resources to invest in energy efficiency Table 13: Do you have smart meters at your site? Yes/no/not sure Yes 17% 38% No 79% 57% Not sure 4% 5% 57% do not have smart meters on their site Table 14: If not, why not? Select all that apply Costs are too high 37% 32% Inconvenience of installation 28% 25% Unsure of benefits 58% 51% Other 34% 11% 51% of businesses are unsure of benefits of smart meters, so have not had them installed Table 15: If yes, what features of smart meters are most beneficial for your business? Rate from 1 to 10 The ability to gain an accurate bill and eliminate estimated readings % The ability to monitor your energy consumption more effectively % Provide information to help you cut your energy consumption % Other - 2% Almost half (49%) think the ability to monitor your energy consumption more effectively is the most beneficial feature of smart meters for their business

10 18 npower Business Energy Index 2013 External advice and energy purchasing habits 19 EXTErNAL AdVICE ANd ENErGY PurCHASING HABITS were questioned about the areas where they considered external support or advice would be helpful in terms of managing their energy requirements. Interestingly, companies did not in general favour external advice when it came to energy purchasing, reducing or managing carbon emissions, dealing with regulatory changes or assessing renewable generation. In each of these examples no responses outweighed yes responses. Only in areas such as energy management and energy efficient technologies was the weighting of a similar level. For example, 43% said they needed external advice on energy management issues, compared to 41% who said they did not. In terms of where such advice would be sought, more than half cited their energy supplier as the primary source of such help, followed by energy brokers and consultants. For those who saw the value of external advice, the favoured areas are energy management and efficiency, energy purchasing, energy efficiency technologies, regulatory changes and renewable generation. It would seem that when an organisation engages with external expertise, they seek specialist advice across a broad spectrum of topics. nbei 9 also took the opportunity to assess the role of the government in terms of energy-related advice provided to. Some 43% said they did not think the government offers useful advice around matters of carbon reduction and energy efficiency. Only a third (33%) believed it did. Energy Purchasing Turning to energy purchasing habits, were questioned about energy contracts. When asked if they would be interested in the certainty and stability associated with, for example, longer-term energy contracts of up to five years; the majority (61%) were in favour. Delving deeper, the favoured contract length was two years (32%) followed by three years at 30%. The least favoured contract lengths were less than one year (4%) and four years, also at 4%. Assessing current energy purchasing habits, 75% of said they dealt directly with their energy supplier and just 12% with third party intermediaries. As far as products are concerned, the most popular choice among is a fixed price and term contract (37%), with flexible purchase contracts also highlighted. The least favoured was a prepayment meter. This response is replicated when asked which purchasing method would be most interested in fixed price and term contracts is the clear favourite in this regard. Finally, questioned on whether felt they could improve their energy purchasing habits, an overwhelming majority of 71% said they thought they could. nbei 9 also assessed current knowledge and perception about what thought represented the biggest proportion of their energy bill. s indicate they believe operating costs (34%) and wholesale costs (28%) were the two largest elements of the bill. Other contributors included government costs and network costs. In reality, a typical energy bill for is made up as follows: wholesale costs (40%), VAT and Climate Change Levy (20%), cost of delivery (17%), operating costs (15%), environmental levies (5%) and earnings before tax and interest (3%). Table 16: What type of energy product do you buy? Select one (7) Fixed price and term contract 56% 71% 37% Flexible purchase contract 18% 10% 25% Product tracked against an index 1% 2% 9% Capped price product 4% 4% 9% Tariff 22% 13% 17% Prepayment meter - - 2% Other % More than one third (37%) of businesses buy their energy through a fixed price and term contract The percentage of on a fixed price and term energy contract has almost halved since the last index Table 17: What percentage of your business costs does energy account for? Select one Less than 25% 25-35% 35-50% More than 50% 51% of businesses say that energy accounts for less than 25% of business costs 37% of businesses say that energy accounts for 25% - 35% of business costs 11% of businesses say that energy accounts for more than 50% of business costs (7) % 3% 2% 0% 51% 37% 11% 2%

11 20 npower Business Energy Index 2013 External advice and energy purchasing habits 21 EXTErNAL AdVICE ANd ENErGY PurCHASING HABITS Table 18: Do you believe you could improve your energy purchasing habits? Select one (7) Yes 37% 41% 71% No 64% 59% 29% The majority (71%) of businesses believe they could improve their energy purchasing habits, significantly more than previous indexes In 2013, we asked respondents to tell us the top 5 risks they face. Table 19: Which of the following represents the biggest proportion of your energy bill? Table 21: What is your preferred contract length? Less than 1 year 4% 1 year 9% 2 years 32% 3 years 30% 4 years 4% 5 years 16% Longer than 5 years 6% Operating costs 34% Wholesale costs 28% Government costs 17% Nearly one third (32%) of businesses said that two years would be their preferred contract length Table 22: From where are you most likely to seek advice on energy purchasing management? Network costs 13% None of the above 9% Energy consultants - 34% of businesses said that operating costs represent the biggest proportion of their energy bill Table 20: Would you be interested in a longer-term energy contract up to five years? Energy suppliers 51% Energy brokers 27% Management consultant 22% Peer group 16% Yes 61% No 39% Trade association 18% NGOs 7% Nearly two thirds (61%) of businesses would be interested in an energy contract of up to 5 years More than half (51%) of businesses are most likely to seek advice from energy suppliers

12 22 npower Business Energy Index 2013 External advice and energy purchasing habits 23 EXTErNAL AdVICE ANd ENErGY PurCHASING HABITS Table 23: Is your company likely to increase or reduce initiatives in the following areas given the current economic climate? Energy efficiency Increase 59% Table 25: Do you consider that you need external advice or support in the following areas? Yes or no for each % responded yes (6) (7) Energy management/ efficiency 35% 16% 14% 43% Not planning on making any changes 28% Energy efficient technologies % 42% Reduce 13% Energy saving capital allowances 6% 17% 19% 39% Energy management Reducing/managing carbon emissions 35% 20% 21% 33% Increase 48% Regulatory change - 23% 18% 36% Not planning to make any changes 33% Reduce 19% Energy purchasing Renewable generation - 20% 15% 38% 37% Over half (59%) of businesses are planning to increase initiatives in energy efficiency despite the current economic climate Table 24: What is your rationale for such initiatives? Nearly half (43%) of say they need external advice or support on the issue of energy management/efficiency this is significantly more than previous indexes Table 26: For areas with a yes, how important would this advice be? On a scale 1-10, where 10 = very important Rate from 1-10 where 1= mainly about the environment, 10 = mainly about cost, 5 = equal weighting (7) (6) (7) Energy management/ efficiency Energy efficiency Energy management Energy efficient technologies Energy saving capital allowances Reducing/managing carbon emissions Regulatory change Renewable generation Energy purchasing Nearly one fifth (17%) said this advice would be very important

13 24 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 External advice and energy purchasing habits 25 EXTErNAL AdVICE ANd ENErGY PurCHASING HABITS Table 27: Which of the following statements applies to your business? We are concerned for the future of our business 34% We are confident we will be able to grow in the future 32% Our outgoings are increasing too rapidly 30% We plan to recruit more staff over the next two years 29% We are making a good profit 28% The UK s business rates are impacting on our competitiveness 20% We are unsure how long we will be able to keep in operation 17% Table 29: What purchasing method do you use for energy? Select one (7) Third party intermediaries 19% 23% 12% Direct with Supplier 81% 77% 75% Parent organisation / Group billing - - 7% Landlord - - 6% Other, please specify % The majority (75%) of businesses purchase their energy direct through a supplier We struggle to access the finance needed to prosper 12% None of the above 8% We are looking to move abroad to avoid the challenging environment in the UK 6% 34% of businesses are concerned for the future of their business, but 32% of businesses are confident they will be able to grow in the future 30% of businesses think that their outgoings are increasing too rapidly, but 29% are planning to recruit more staff over the next two years and 28% think they are making a good profit 20% of businesses think that the UK s business rates are impacting on our competitiveness and 17% are unsure how long they will be able to keep in operation Table 28: Do you feel the government offers useful advice on the issue of carbon reduction and energy efficiency? Yes 33% Table 30: Which of the below purchasing methods would you be interested in? Fixed price and term contract 33% Flexible purchase contract 24% Capped price product 17% Product tracked against an index 8% Tariff 8% None of the above 6% Prepayment meter 2% No 43% Don t know 24% More than one third (35%) of businesses would be interested in purchasing a fixed price and term contract 43% of do not feel the government offers useful advice on the issue of carbon reduction and energy efficiency in comparison to 33% that do

14 26 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Legislation and carbon reduction 27 LEGISLATION ANd CArBON reduction With government initiatives to tackle Knowledge and perception were also tested with Table 31: Have you heard of the government s Green Deal? Table 32: Which type of energy user will be regard to government initiatives designed to drive the beneficiary of the Green Deal? carbon reduction well established, % Yes a more energy efficient future. A central component nbei 9 has tracked SME opinion on of this strategy has been the Green Deal. With whether they think the 80% reduction a clear target for uptake, nbei 9 tackled awareness issues around this landmark initiative. However, in national carbon emissions by 2050 Yes - but don t understand what it is 37% Residential 65% 47% a picture of confusion emerges. More than one third is realistic. (37%) of said they had heard about the Green Yes - and do understand what it is 31% Small Business 52% 53% The previous nbei saw 68% saying they did not think Deal but do not understand what it is. A slightly lower the target was realistic this figure has fallen slightly figure of 31% said they had heard of it and understood No 32% Large Business 58% 37% to 64%. The government s interim target of a 34% it while 32% said they had not heard of it at all. reduction by 2020 was also revisited and views in the Awareness of the Green Deal is growing though, as our More than one third (37%) of businesses have 53% of businesses think that small intervening period have remained fairly constant. Nearly previous nbei showed 85% of were not aware of it. heard of the government s Green Deal but do businesses will benefit from the Green Deal two thirds (61%) of do not think the interim When asked about the kind of benefits the Green Deal not understand what it is Fewer businesses think residential energy target is realistic a slight rise from 59% seen in nbei could deliver for the small business community, the users will be a beneficiary of the Green Deal When asked what they would like to see offered as part of 8. Another tracking question in this area asked about most popular examples provided were access to help compared with the last index the Green Deal, better pricing structure, cash incentives for government policies, and if they will help UK businesses and advice on energy efficiency matters and funding businesses to invest, cheap energy and energy efficiency reduce carbon emission levels. Again, SME reluctance for on-site generation. A small number thought the all featured as regular responses from has risen, with 61% now saying they do not feel benefits are solely for residential energy users. government policy in this area will help, compared to 50% in our previous report. The disparate status concerning SME knowledge of the Table 33: What do you think are the benefits of the Green Deal for small businesses? Green Deal is also reflected in terms of actual take-up Turning to the potential commercial opportunities by. While 37% said they plan to make use of it, resulting from a reduction in their carbon footprint, 27% said they would not, while 36% remain undecided. appear more confident in this area. While in Those responding no were asked why. Nearly half previous indexes figures, of 16% and 24% were Access to finance for energy efficiency measures 58% 18% said they did not want to take on the risk of additional recorded, in nbe1 9 this has significantly increased debt and a quarter said it was too complicated. For to 42%. Funding for on-site generation 45% 27% considering its use, investment in self-generation technology such as solar panels and new equipment Access to help and advice on energy efficiency measures 52% 31% were the key areas they would tackle. The benefits are only for residential energy users 29% 3% Other, please specify - 0.7% Don t know - 21% More than one fifth (21%) of do not know what the benefits of the Green Deal are for small businesses Significantly fewer think small businesses will benefit from access to finance for energy efficiency measures than in the last index

15 28 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Legislation and carbon reduction 29 LEGISLATION ANd CArBON reduction Table 34: Do you plan to make use of the Green Deal? Table 36: Why are you not going to make use of the Green Deal? Yes 37% No 27% Don t know 36% More than one third (37%) of businesses plan to make use of the Green Deal, but nearly the same again are not so sure as 36% of businesses don t know whether they will make use of the Green Deal Don t want to take the risk of additional debt 42% Don t think it will benefit my business 33% Too complicated 25% Energy efficiency isn t top of my priorities 17% Other, please specify 10% Table 35: What will you invest in? Self-generation technology e.g. solar panels 50% New equipment 35% 42% of businesses that are not going to make use of the Green Deal do not want to because they don t want to take the risk of additional debt Table 37: Would you welcome your landlord taking out a Green Deal loan on your property? Insulation 15% 50% of businesses that are going to make use of the Green Deal want to use it to invest in self-generation technology e.g. solar panels Yes 68% No 32% 68% of businesses that rent their property would welcome their landlord taking out a Green Deal loan on the property

16 30 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Legislation and carbon reduction 31 LEGISLATION ANd CArBON reduction Table 38: Do you believe that reducing your carbon footprint could provide your business with new commercial opportunities? Table 40: Do you believe that the UK government s interim target to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 is realistic? (7) Yes 16% 24% 42% Yes 43% 39% No 84% 76% 58% No 57% 61% 42% of businesses believe that reducing their carbon footprint could provide their business with new commercial opportunities. This is significantly higher than previous indexes 61% of businesses do not believe that the UK government s target to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 is realistic Table 39: Do you believe that the UK government s target to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 is realistic? Table 41: Do you feel the coalition government s policies will help UK business reduce its carbon emissions? (7) Yes 21% 32% 36% Yes 32% 39% No 79% 68% 64% No 50% 61% 64% of businesses do not believe that the UK government s target to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 is realistic 61% of businesses do not feel the coalition government s policies will help UK business reduce its carbon emissions

17 32 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Business and energy risk 33 BuSINESS ANd ENErGY risk Minimising business risk is essential for a successful future and nbei 9 investigated how felt about risk and the role that energy plays. When asked about the primary risk their organisation faced, cash flow was cited by 38% followed by sales, credit and staffing. Cash flow has maintained the prominent position established in the previous nbei. However, when assessing energy, appear to consider it a reduced risk now. Appearing sixth on a list of risk areas in nbei 8, energy has moved down to number 11 in the current list of business risks. This is perhaps a reflection of the many other challenges businesses are also currently facing. In terms of managing risk and the adoption of a strategy to deal with it, are proactively tackling health and safety, cash flow and staff-related areas. Energy, given its importance and cost to a company, surprisingly appears bottom of the list when it comes to having a strategy in place. Indeed, a lack of future planning by in the area of energy is also reflected in other studies and can leave companies exposed to potential risks. Looking at energy in particular, cite supply costs, associated CO 2 emissions, energy sources (i.e. where it comes from) and reputation as the main risks in relation to energy. Assessing the future, supply costs are still highlighted as the primary energy risk area over the next five years, with legislative compliance and energy sources also named as risk concerns up until 2018.

18 34 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Business and energy risk 35 BuSINESS ANd ENErGY risk Table 42: In which of the following areas do you have a business strategy to manage risk? Table 43: Have the risks associated with buying and using energy become more high profile within your organisation in the last three years? % Yes (7) Select one Health & safety 76% 72% 34% (7) Staff 75% 68% 29% No, it has stayed the same 58% 59% 42% Security 74% 74% 27% Purchasing 70% 72% 26% Credit 73% 65% 25% Energy risk has become lower profile 7% 6% 23% Energy risk has slightly higher profile 25% 21% 29% Energy risk has become much higher profile 10% 14% 6% Cash flow 81% 75% 32% 42% of businesses think the risks associated with buying and using energy have stayed the same Productivity 70% 70% 19% in the last three years, and 29% of businesses think they have had a slightly higher profile in the last three years Sales 76% 73% 21% Legislation 63% 60% 12% Energy 54% 57% 11% 34% of businesses have a business strategy for health and safety to manage risk

19 36 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Business and energy risk 37 BuSINESS ANd ENErGY risk Table 44: What are the primary risks your business is facing? Rate from 1-10, where 10 = very high risk In 2013, respondents were asked about the business risks they face by selecting the top five they felt pose the most risk. Table 45: What are the primary risks your business is facing? Average shown (7) Health & safety Average shown Staff Health & safety 15% Security Purchasing Credit Cash flow Productivity Sales Legislation Energy Other - Staff 17% Security 16% Purchasing 13% Credit 18% Cash flow 38% Productivity 12% Sales 24% Legislation 15% Energy 11% Other 3% 38% of businesses think that their primary risk is cash flow and nearly one quarter (24%) think it is sales

20 38 npower Business Energy Index 2013 Executive Summary npower Business Energy Index 2011 Business and energy risk 39 BuSINESS ANd ENErGY risk Table 46: Where do you perceive the most risk in relation to energy in your business today? Rate from 1-10, where 10 = very high risk In 2013, respondents were asked about the specific energy-related risks they faced by selecting the top five they felt pose the most risk. Table 47: Where do you perceive the most risk in relation to energy in your business today? Average shown (7) Supply costs Average shown Non-commodity charges e.g Supply costs 43% distribution costs Non-commodity charges e.g. Associated CO 3% 2 emissions distribution costs Associated CO emissions 9% Legislative compliance Reputation Energy sources Security of supply Purchasing Changes to required volume Credit insurance availability Credit rating Capital expenditure for energy saving initiatives Associated costs of carbon legislation Other - Credit insurance availability - Legislative compliance 7% Reputation 7% Energy sources 8% Security of supply 5% Purchasing 4% Changes to required volume 3% Credit insurance availability 2% Credit rating 3% Capital expenditure for energy saving initiatives 4% Associated costs of carbon legislation 2% Other 0.7% Credit insurance availability 2% 43% of businesses perceive the most risk in relation to energy is supply cost

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