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Responding to the spread of coronavirus - Message from our Managing Director

Tackling market uncertainty with improved energy resilience

Concerns around energy security, supply and cost volatility are rising across all industries, fuelled by Brexit, the growth of digitalisation, and more. In the face of ongoing uncertainty, energy resilience has never been more important.

As organisations digitalise their operations in ever-more sophisticated ways, it’s inevitable that organisational dependence on a reliable energy supply will continue to grow. The UK’s recent power outage was a clear demonstration of this, causing significant disruption for businesses and customers alike when nearly one million sites lost power.

Any interruptions to the energy supply chain can be extremely costly. Even the briefest of power outage has the potential to cause significant damage to productivity, reputations and finances. Yet Brexit has put a question mark on the UK’s relationship with the European energy market; while concerns regarding energy security and cost instability are growing too. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, achieving energy resilience has never been more important.

Safeguarding against energy interruptions

With greater control over energy generation and usage, businesses can enjoy the ability to drive operational gains through insight; streamline energy production; and futureproof assets, buildings and processes. Since power disruptions also have the potential to drive up cost, organisations would be well-advised to consider alternative solutions that give them more sustainable control over their power supply and use.

Nonetheless, while there is a growing awareness of energy resilience as a business risk, there is currently a lack of action amongst most organisations. In fact, our research found that 73% of businesses feel less than ‘very well prepared’ for an interruption to their energy supply. What’s more, in the last year just 30% of organisations surveyed had assessed their risk of power interruption. In spite of this, it’s clear that long-term, secure access to energy is critical for businesses - and there are steps that can be taken to safeguard this. 

Our research found that 66% of sustainable businesses are connecting their energy technologies and assets, allowing them to maximise the commercial benefits and return on investment. What’s more, just under one-third of business who generate their own energy onsite are then able to sell some of it back to the grid, creating a new revenue opportunity.

With a holistic approach and a clear roadmap for energy technology investment, organisations can both futureproof their energy supply and save costs. This will be a critical advantage in an uncertain and potentially volatile market.

Building an energy resilience strategy

The best-practice option is to implement a detailed, formalised energy resilience strategy, which can help to ensure your business is prepared for whatever the future holds. This is something that one-third of organisations surveyed have implemented. As part of this, businesses should consider investing in energy technologies that can drive efficiency and transparency. After all, while it’s impossible to know precisely what the future holds, those organisations that forecast for the future and actively plan for change will be the ones that are best placed to succeed.

Yet becoming more sustainable isn’t something that can be achieved overnight, particularly during in these uncertain times. Sustainable businesses should look to external experts to help with activities such as understanding the energy market and its technologies, engaging with stakeholders, and supporting implementation. This can complement and enhance internal capabilities, help you to streamline your workload, and enable you to focus on other important challenges.

Download our Future-Proofing Your Company's Energy Needs report to discover the actions you can take to defend your organisation from energy supply interruption, and the ways in which Centrica Business Solutions can help.