Despite the UK going to the ballot box on Thursday 8 June, UK businesses are still more concerned about our forthcoming exit from the EU, according to research we recently commissioned YouGov to carry out.*
Just under a third (28%) of the almost 1200 companies polled say that Brexit remains their biggest concern for the 12 months ahead. Over half (53%) cite unexpected costs to their business as the main reason for this, closely followed by an inability to forward plan business activity (46%).
Perhaps surprisingly, only 9% put the consequences of the General Election as their main concern.
Testing energy trilemma priorities
We also wanted to see how businesses were feeling about the energy trilemma – i.e. balancing affordability, sustainability and security.
Just under half (47%) say more affordable energy is the most important element of the three, compared to 19% for enhanced energy security and the same (19%) for a move to a low carbon economy.
It is therefore no surprise that when asked what they would like the incoming government to prioritise when it comes to energy policy, over a third (34%) say decreasing business energy costs.
Putting new approaches to energy management to the agenda
But new approaches to energy management are also identified as areas businesses want to see on the new government’s agenda.
Some 15% say that increasing the value and/or opportunities for being flexible around energy use should be prioritised.
This includes demand side response (DSR) initiatives, where there are incentives for reducing electricity consumption at peak times, either by shifting operations or instead sourcing power from on-site generation assets.
Certainly, we are seeing more interest in DSR as a tool to reduce costs and generate revenue. Our Energy HQ team are increasingly being asked to factor this in to integrated energy management strategies for customers.
Low-carbon future remains important
Interestingly, while price clearly remains front of mind for many businesses, the research also shows that 30% of businesses are looking for the government to prioritise renewable energy sources over non-renewable energy.
Clearly, securing a low-carbon future is an important aspect of future policy for a large number of businesses.
Once the dust has settled on the election, if you want to see how things are likely to impact your business, do get in touch with your Client Lead (for existing customers) or contact us via nBS@npower.com. Our team of experts will be happy to offer advice and suggest ways to reduce your energy costs.
* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,197 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23 and 31 May 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all British business size.