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Where's the plan for net-zero?

The latest edie Business Energy Barometer report, published in partnership with Centrica Business Solutions, reveals the key energy drivers, challenges and opportunities facing UK businesses. Louis Burford offers his perspective on the in-depth survey of UK energy managers and the challenges they face on their journey to net-zero.

What a cynical bunch we energy types are. edie’s latest Business Energy Barometer is out and it turns out we don’t have a great deal of confidence in the Government hitting its net-zero ambitions.

Nearly two-thirds of energy leaders (62%) don’t believe that the UK’s new carbon emissions target will be achieved by 2050, with the mood summed up eloquently by this respondent:

The target is just a target, there is no plan behind it to help achieve it. We’re already set to miss other, lower targets in the near-term and there is seemingly no political will to actually do anything.

So, ambitions are one thing, but are meaningless without a solid strategy on how to achieve them. Thankfully, as well as being cynical, the industry is also pretty knowledgeable.  

The barometer outlines what energy leaders see as the three key enablers for net zero: energy efficiency technologies, behaviour change and on-site renewables.

I’d add a fourth, digitisation.

The use of big data, blockchain and the Internet of Things will see businesses of all types view energy not just as an unavoidable expense but as an asset that can be traded. The use of smart technology can help unlock revenue streams and competitive advantage through services such as demand side response.

It seems the industry agrees, with the barometer revealing that 70% of business energy leaders believe the Internet of Things holds either a medium (22%), high (42%) or business critical (6%) opportunity for their future energy strategy – a significant increase from the previous barometer. Monitoring your energy infrastructure and equipment to identify inefficiencies, provides you with the insights you need to take effective action and improve performance and can be an enabler for behavioural change.

Sustainable Growth

edie's survey findings chime with our own recent research into sustainable business growth, which shows that businesses who see energy as an opportunity, not a burden, are benefiting both the environment and their own bottom line.

Our ‘Insights Behind Sustainable Business Growth’ report demonstrates the strong link between energy sustainability and financial performance – revealing  that six in ten (61%) of the best performing organisations are also advanced energy leaders.