1 POWERCUT BRITAIN ARE THE LIGHTS ABOUT TO GO OUT FOR UK BUSINESS? A Power Efficiency sponsored Major Energy Users Council Report The findings of an MEUC survey canvassing the opinions and concerns of major commercial and public sector energy users in the UK today. October 2013
2 POWERCUT BRITAIN An introduction from the MEUC The Major Energy Users Council (MEUC), working in association with Power Efficiency, has undertaken this survey to reveal the opinions and concerns of major commercial and public sector energy users in the UK today. The findings contained in this report will help us articulate concerns to Government, energy suppliers and the media. By participating in this survey, we are giving businesses the voice they need on the energy issues that really matter, such as energy inflation, security of supply, the regulatory regime relating to carbon compliance and the need for board-level engagement on this subject. The report provides an invaluable industry-wide insight into the thoughts and opinions of major energy users and will give businesses the opportunity to compare, contrast and benchmark their views on energy issues with those of their industry peers and colleagues. We hope you find this a revealing and interesting report. Andrew Bainbridge Chairman Andrew Buckley Director General An introduction from the report sponsors Power Efficiency is pleased to have been able to partner with the MEUC by sponsoring and helping to contribute towards the production of this report. Power Efficiency, an integrated energy solutions company which advises many leading corporate and public sector clients on how to reduce their energy costs and comply with regulation, has long been a supporter of the MEUC. This report highlights the complex issues facing business in the UK today and underlines why we believe the issue of energy management is moving out of the plant room and into the boardroom. It provides a compelling insight into why managing energy costs and securing security of supply will dominate the agenda of UK businesses wishing to remain competitive in the coming decade. Andy Wild Managing Director Power Efficiency 2
3 MEUC SURVEY REPORT 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Nearly nine out of every ten (88%) UK businesses are worried about the security of their energy supply. This follows recent warnings by OFGEM that the UK generating capacity is nearly at full stretch. With the planned closure of some coal and nuclear power stations, OFGEM is warning that spare capacity could fall from today's 14% level to just 4% in three years, with a risk of brownouts and blackouts starting in the winter of Initiating behavioural change programmes (60%), investment in renewable energy sources (50%) and installing onsite generation (43%) are the top three major actions businesses are currently taking to protect security of supply in the future. The Carbon Price Floor, introduced this year at 16 per tonne of carbon emissions, is a cost which 35 per cent of businesses say will need to be passed on to their customers by increasing the prices of their products and services. Nearly half of the businesses polled (42%) say it is a cost which will impact on profitability and one the business will need to absorb for the time being. Over 90 per cent of UK businesses think that energy inflation poses a major threat to UK competitiveness. Three quarters (74%) of UK businesses are aware of their obligations to report greenhouse emissions in their Directors Report as of September this year and of EU regulations which will compel energy surveys by Conversely, one in five businesses (21%) are unaware of these obligations. Nearly half (48%) have already taken steps to comply with these obligations whilst a third (33%) say they have not taken any actions. Nearly two thirds (62%) of UK businesses say they have a clearly defined energy and carbon reduction strategy, but a third (33%) say they do not have such a strategy in place. Nearly two thirds of UK businesses polled (60%) say they have plans in place to make a substantial investment in energy efficiency. A third (32%) say they are considering financing an energy efficiency programme through an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) or from an Energy Services Company (ESCo). 1
4 POWERCUT BRITAIN 1. ENERGY AS A MANAGEMENT ISSUE 1% 8% 6% 21% 91% 73% Do you think energy inflation is a major threat to UK business competitiveness? Are energy issues discussed at boardroom level in your business? Key findings: Over 90 per cent of UK businesses think that energy inflation poses a major threat to UK business competitiveness. Energy is a boardroom issue within 73 per cent of UK businesses, but is not properly discussed in the boardroom of one in five (21%) UK-based businesses. 2. CRC AND THE CARBON PRICE FLOOR Do you support the Government changing the rules about CRC and abandoning the league table? 24% 48% 28% 2
5 MEUC SURVEY REPORT CRC AND THE CARBON PRICE FLOOR continued Do you think that the Carbon Price Floor introduced this year at 16 per tonne of carbon emissions will impact on business profitability? It will impact on business profitability and will need to be passed on by increasing prices 35% It will impact on business profitablity, but is a cost the business will have to absorb 42% It will not have a significant effect on profitablity 13% Don t know 10% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Key findings: Nearly half of businesses polled (48 %) support the Government s move to abandon the CRC league table. The Carbon Price Floor, introduced at 16 per tonne of carbon emissions, is a cost which 35 per cent of businesses say will need to be passed on to customers by increasing the price of their products and services. Nearly half of the businesses polled (42%) say the Carbon Price Floor is a cost which will impact on profitability and is a cost the business will need to absorb for the time being. Just 13 per cent of businesses thought that, at 16 per tonne, the Carbon Price Floor would not have a significant effect on profitability, whilst one in ten (10%) didn t know or were not sure of the effect it might have on profitability. 3
6 POWERCUT BRITAIN 3. SECURITY OF SUPPLY Are you worried about security of supply for your business? 10% 2% 88% If yes, are you taking active steps now to enhance your security of supply by looking at any of these demand management solutions? Renewable projects 50% Behavioural change programmes for employees 60% *Triad avoidance 36% *Frequency Response Contracts 11% *DUOS (Distribution use of System) 17% *STOR (Short Term Operating) Investing in on-site generation (CHP/Biomass/etc.) Other please specify Don t know None of these 6% 6% 8.6% 25% 43% * All options which become more attractive for a business with on-site generators. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 4
7 MEUC SURVEY REPORT 2013 Key findings: Nearly nine out of every ten (88%) UK businesses are worried about the security of their energy supply following warnings by OFGEM in its first Electricity Capacity Report that the UK generating capacity is nearly at full stretch. With the planned closure of some coal, gas-fired and nuclear power stations, OFGEM is warning that spare capacity could fall from today's 14% level to just 4% in three years, with a risk of brownouts and blackouts starting in the winter of Initiating behavioural change programmes (60%), investment in renewable energy sources (50%) and installing onsite generation (43%) are the top three major actions businesses are currently taking to protect security of supply in the future. Other actions identified in the survey include: Installing diesel powered generators for back-up Looking at future property acquisitions to focus on energy-efficient buildings Energy reduction solutions and offsite management of critical servers Considering ISO50001 certification Investing in Lower Energy Technologies (e.g. LEDs). 5
8 POWERCUT BRITAIN 4. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REPORTING Are you aware that under UK law listed companies will be obliged to quantify their greenhouse gas emissions in their Directors' Report after 30 September 2013 and under EU regulations they are obliged to carry out energy audits by 2015? 21% 5% 74% If yes, has your business taken any actions to comply with these requirements? 19% 48% 33% Key findings: Three quarters (74%) of UK businesses are aware of their obligations to report greenhouse emissions in their Directors Report as of September this year and of EU regulations which will compel energy surveys by Conversely, one in five businesses (21%) are unaware of these obligations. Nearly half (48%) have already taken steps to comply with these obligations whilst a third (33%) have not taken any actions to comply. 6
9 MEUC SURVEY REPORT ENERGY STRATEGY Does your business have a clearly defined energy and carbon reduction strategy for the next five to ten years? 33% 5% 62% Do you employ a specialist energy manager or a staff member with specific responsibility for energy efficiency? 25% 75% If yes, what level of priority is given to staff training to help reduce energy consumption? (Please mark from 1-5, where 1= not at all important and 5 = very important) Don t know 6% 5 12% 4 21% 3 27% 2 21% 1 12% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 7
10 POWERCUT BRITAIN 5. ENERGY STRATEGY continued Key findings: Nearly two thirds (62%) of UK businesses say they have a clearly defined energy and carbon reduction strategy, but a third (33%) say they do not have such a strategy in place. Three quarters (75%) of major UK energy consuming companies employ a specialist energy manager whilst a quarter (25%) does not. A third of the companies polled said staff training on the need to reduce energy consumption was considered either important or very important to the business. 6. INVESTMENT Do you have plans in place to make a substantial investment in energy efficiency? 8% 32% 60% Are you considering the external financing of an energy efficiency programme through an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) or from an Energy Services Company (ESCo)? 10% 58% 32% Key findings: Nearly two thirds of UK businesses polled (60%) say they have plans in place to make a substantial investment in energy efficiency. 8
11 MEUC SURVEY REPORT INVESTMENT continued A third of UK businesses (32%) say they are considering financing an energy efficiency programme through an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) of from and Energy Services Company (ESCo). An energy service company (acronym: ESCO or ESCo) is a commercial business providing a broad range of comprehensive energy solutions including the design and implementation of energy savings projects, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and energy supply, and risk management. A newer breed of ESCO evolving in the UK now focuses more on innovative financing methods. Wikipedia 7. ENERGY BROKERS (TPIs) 3% Do you use energy brokers, sometimes referred to as Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) 43% 54% If yes, what are your key considerations in using them? (Please mark from 1-5, where 1 = not at all important and 5 = very important) Transparent fees Rapid problem solving Knowledge of your market sector Full range of services Integrity Key findings: Over half (54%) of the energy users surveyed said they use energy brokers. Integrity (with a mean ranking of 3.52 on scale of one to five) and transparent fees (3.3) were the key values when considering using energy brokers. 9
12 POWERCUT BRITAIN THE MEUC OVERVIEW Doubts over whether the lights will stay on combined with the belief that energy inflation is now a threat to future business make sorry reading. Rather than counting on gas and electricity to be both readily available and at reasonable cost to aid our recovery, it seems that uncertainties over our energy future may well be having a detrimental effect. Much has been said about the dangers of carbon leakage and loss of jobs in energy intensive industries. Given that Government has been moved to provide an element of relief, even in these austere times, confirms the real danger of these jobs going elsewhere to no effect on global emissions. Our survey shows that over 90 per cent of respondents believe energy inflation poses a major threat to our business competitiveness. So where does this leave the great majority of commercial and industrial businesses not covered by this highly selective scheme for the energy intensives? Nearly three quarters say that the extra cost, for example, from the introduction of the Carbon Price Floor will either need to be passed on in higher prices or absorbed internally, presumably at the expense of less money for investment. The Council is highly concerned about the new guaranteed strike prices on offer from the Government for the 15 year contracts to encourage investment in low carbon generation. Most range from 100 to 150 per Megawatt Hour as against the current wholesale market rate of around Customers will be paying the difference through higher prices and it is the future for these environmental taxes and levies that create further uncertainty for business on top of the vagaries of the wholesale markets. It is clear from this survey that most larger customers have now got the message. Half are looking at their own renewable projects and 43% are examining the case for investing in on-site generation. Energy efficiency has also moved back to centre stage after the many wasteful years following privatisation. Over 70% say that energy is a now a subject for the boardroom and over 60% report that they have a clearly defined energy and carbon reduction strategy. 60% have embarked on staff behavioural schemes to offset rising costs. Government, it seems, still needs to be convinced that larger customers can do more to solve the energy enigma than simply sign the cheques. For example, if there is the real prospect of electricity peak demand outstripping available capacity, and the cost of building new low carbon plant so expensive, then surely it makes sense to see whether it could be more cost effective to provide funds for larger users to tackle energy efficiency schemes currently ruled out on commercial grounds. The MEUC will continue to represent our Members interests to Government, the regulators and the fuel suppliers. We are also expanding the necessary assistance for Members to help themselves through our Academy training programme, market intelligence, special interest groups, networking meetings, market intelligence, behavioural change group and on-demand advice. 10 As the survey shows, there is still much for us to do.
13 MEUC SURVEY REPORT 2013 THE POWER EFFICIENCY OVERVIEW It is clear to us from this survey that security of supply is coming sharply into focus for UK-based businesses and that investment in onsite generation is the natural reaction to compensate for this concern. This may well explain why nearly two thirds of the businesses polled say they are going to make a substantial investment in energy efficiency and 32% are looking at an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) or the ESCO model as a way of doing this, which is obviously good news for a business like ours. However, we would advise caution and say that getting the strategy right first, and taking a holistic view of energy rather than falling for any immediate knee-jerk reaction, is vital to the success of any energy-savings programme. We have seen businesses install onsite generation without seeing it as part of the overall objectives of an energy-savings programme (the savings should come first!) and as a result over investment has resulted in installations of onsite CHP and Biomass which, in the end, have been built with unnecessarily high capacity. We advise clients worried about security of supply to: Get the strategy right first and get the whole picture of current and planned energy consumption from all the data available. Only by seeing the big picture at the outset will you arrive at the right energy solutions. Understand how to make the business case for an investment in an energy-saving programme and know how and when you will realise an ROI on the investment. You will find the argument more compelling if you do. If investing in onsite generation, make sure your business is aware of the revenue potential behind the assets you invest in. There are money-saving and cash-generating opportunities for corporate and public sector energy users who understand the revenues available to them, not just from the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTS), but also from demand management services such as Triad charges, DUOS avoidance, time-of-day tariffs, STOR and Frequency Response Contracts. Finally, research and understand if the Energy Performance Contract or ESCo option represents an appropriate solution to your energy needs. If it does, then there may be a ready-made, externally financed and risk-transferred solution that s right for your business. 11
14 POWERCUT BRITAIN METHODOLOGY The survey was carried out via an online survey posted on SurveyMonkey with respondents participating during the summer months of The sample size included 129 participating companies with a collective energy spend of approximately 1 billion. Major energy users invited to participate in the survey included the MEUC membership, Power Efficiency clients and members of the 2degrees network, a leading online community for sustainable business.. A number of blue-chip listed companies participated in the survey including 10% of the FTSE 100. In what sector does your business/organisation operate? Mining and quarrying Agriculture, forestry, fishing Manufacturing Energy (Electricity, gas, water, etc) Wholesale or retailing Transport, storage, distribution Arts, entertainment, leisure Public sector The voluntary sector Financial services /banking All other respondents 12
15 About the MEUC The Major Energy Users' Council started life in 1987 as the then nationalised fuel supply industries prepared for privatisation and larger customers got ready for the introduction of competition in gas and electricity supply. It was on former National Coal Board Chairman Sir Derek Ezra s advice that Andrew Bainbridge founded the Council. Andrew remains today as its Chairman and driving force. He has been joined by Andrew Buckley, as Director General, who has had a lifetime s experience in providing information and advice to larger energy users. Today MEUC representatives sit on government, regulatory and supply industry committees. We represent Members views as relayed to us through the meetings and report back on developments and initiatives. From time to time and when issues of pressing concern emerge we set up Action Groups to harness members views and present them to decision makers. The Energy Credit Action Group formed in the wake of the Credit Crisis is an example as is the Renewable Energy Strategy Group and the Water Competition Action Group. About Power Efficiency Power Efficiency is an integrated energy solutions company which advises many leading corporate and public sector clients on how to reduce their energy costs and comply with regulations. Using a suite of integrated services spanning procurement, compliance, strategy, implementation, operations and maintenance, the firm s mission is to deliver added value to its clients by helping them use energy more effectively, sustainably and profitably.
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