Research identifies opportunity for businesses to unlock competitive advantage through their energy strategy.
Most businesses will take control of their own energy use by generating a quarter of their electricity onsite by 2025, with 80% of businesses predicting this change will take place in just seven years.
In a study of over 1,000 global businesses, Centrica Business Solutions has been working to identify the key drivers and barriers to adopting new energy approaches including battery storage, on-site generation and demand response.
Around a quarter (26%) of businesses have already invested in on-site generation in the form of solar and/or combined heat and power (CHP) with a third* considering investing in these technologies. The increase in demand for flexibility that sees businesses rewarded for increasing, decreasing or shifting their energy use has been identified as an opportunity by 44% of businesses planning to feed energy into the grid in future.
The study of businesses from the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the UK and Ireland identified that ‘energy leaders’, defined as those businesses who have adopted strategies to use energy efficiently and effectively, were more than twice as likely to unlock competitive advantage from their energy. Businesses reported strong financial performance, being a leading brand in their market, and attracting and retaining the best talent.
The survey also revealed however that while 32% of businesses consider themselves to have a formalised energy strategy, far fewer have specific targets or budgets in place to support their ambitions. For example, despite 62% of respondents citing having back-up in the event of a power outage as very important, just 17% have specific targets in place to address this. In a similar vein, only one in ten businesses have set targets to support the link between sustainable energy use and brand image despite being identified by over half (53%) as very important.
Jorge Pikunic, global Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “Energy is becoming a bigger area of focus for many businesses. A growing number of ‘energy leaders’ are ahead of the curve in linking energy to their business objectives.
“Among these ‘energy leaders’ we can see a consistent pattern emerging, where those which have an energy strategy in place are also reporting stronger business performance in areas such as financial growth, efficiency and customer-centricity.”
To find out more, go to the Energy Advantage Report.