Why is now still a great time to invest in energy efficiency measures?

July 6, 2020

Increasing your energy efficiency, through switching to LED lightbulbs and installing roof-mounted solar panels, is a great way to save money and decarbonise by reducing your energy consumption and becoming more sustainable. With government incentives such as the Smart Export Guarantee, companies are more aware than ever about the benefits that flow from reducing energy consumption and generating from renewable sources. However, many businesses are still hesitant to invest in making these changes.

The newly released study conducted by E.ON and Make UK (pre-COVID-19) focuses on the benefits of fuel-saving measures while highlighting some of the barriers in implementing these procedures. It is possible to overcome these barriers, helping your company save energy and reduce costs.


Energy Efficiency Uptake and Benefits

The E.ON and Make UK report highlighted that, of the British manufacturing companies that implemented energy efficiency measures in the past 12 months, 40% reported an increase in profit margins and 30% saw increased competitiveness as a result of these changes. An array of site-specific measures were undertaken by these manufacturing businesses, ranging from onsite electricity generation at some sites to building efficiency changes at others. It is also clear that working towards a net-zero future is a priority, with 90% of manufacturing businesses being aware of the 2050 net zero target.

The E.ON and Make UK manufacturing report stated that approximately 11% of the manufacturing establishments have considered generating onsite renewable energy. A further 5% of the manufacturing companies have already introduced or are planning on installing onsite renewable technologies.

Additionally, within this study, onsite renewables have scored as one of the most impactful measures for helping manufacturing businesses increase their energy efficiency when compared to other measures. These results are very positive and show that the manufacturing industry is beginning to prioritise meeting the UK’s net-zero target and as a result, are seeing company profit and competitiveness benefits. Onsite renewables are becoming increasingly attractive against other energy-saving measures. Although a larger investment is involved, the outcome of onsite renewables can be far more beneficial for reducing carbon and provide an improved return on investment. The uptake of these measures must continue to increase to help work towards the net-zero goal.

Aside from the manufacturing industry, a survey conducted by Johnson Controls in 2019 involving a variety of industries worldwide communicated that 71% of surveyed companies in the UK planned on increasing their energy efficiency in 2020.

The International Environmental Agency have also highlighted that energy efficiency measures would be beneficial for boosting the economy post-COVID-19. Increased energy efficiency would allow for job expansion in the UK within a variety of industries including manufacturing and construction, with long-lasting profits for the companies implementing these measures. These long-running profits result from a continued decrease in the cost of energy bills and government levies while earning money through incentives such as the Smart Export Guarantee.

File:Greenpark wind turbine arp.jpg
Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in December 2005 and released onto the public domain.


Energy Efficiency Barriers

E.ON and Make UK’s report further communicates that many manufacturing companies have nonetheless refused to invest in onsite renewables and other energy-saving measures due to a variety of barriers.

The main obstacles for energy-efficient investment in the manufacturing industry include:

  • Perceived length of payback period,
  • The initial cash flow impact, and
  • Lack of knowledge on how to increase efficiency.

Besides these obstacles, Johnson Controls 2019 multi-industry survey mentions uncertainty related to savings and performance, along with a lack of funding to implement the fuel-saving measures. However, many of these hurdles can be easily overcome.


Breaking Down Barriers

At OnGen, we can help organisations overcome these obstacles through our suite of accessible, easy to use online tools: the OnGen Expert and OnEfficiency.

OnGen Expert considers a range of renewable energy interventions specific to the parameters of a site.

OnEfficiency considers a range of energy efficiency measures that will improve the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of a building.

OnGen Expert and OnEfficiency provide an informed and impartial option appraisal service to drive the business case when selecting the best onsite renewable and building changes to invest in.

OnGen can also help overcome the financial barriers to deployment by suggesting solutions such as Power Purchase Agreements. We work with many funders of renewable technologies across the UK that could provide a solution suited to your organisation without the upfront capital expenditure.

With OnGen’s help, all barriers on your road to optimal energy efficiency are overcome. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to begin your journey.