UK small businesses failing to get to grips with energy efficiency

Posted at September 7, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK small businesses failing to get to grips with energy efficiency

Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are failing to take responsibility for energy efficiency in the workplace, according to research from energy company E.ON.

According to the survey of 2000 professionals, only one in ten employees see energy efficiency in the workplace as part of their role and tend to ‘pass the buck’ to colleagues.

Junior executives, for example, believe energy efficiency is the responsibility of office manager, while office managers say it should fall to the owner or more senior managers.

And although owners and chief executives are more likely to accept responsibility, with 22% saying it was part of their role, a quarter say they rarely think about energy efficiency and one in ten (11%) admitting to taking no measures to be more energy efficient at all.

By contrast, while only 28% of those questioned by E.ON said they think about energy efficiency at work, 55% say they do consider it at home.

“We appreciate it’s often difficult to dedicate time to educating the workforce about energy saving, but the benefits of implementing better practice can be significant and directly beneficial to all employers,” says Iain Walker, head of business sales at E.ON.

The study blames a lack of communication for the poor level of awareness, with well over half (57%) of employees receiving no clear guidelines about energy efficiency at work.

“I think responsibility for reducing waste should start at the top, with bosses and senior managers passing the message to all employees,” says Walker. “We are calling on key decision makers within the workplace to seek advice and information on the topic, such as the potential for financial savings and simple measures that can be introduced.”

E.ON says it is rolling out an energy saving training programme to its 4000 frontline staff to provide advice whenever it is needed.

The company also offers a range of tailored advice for SMEs, including its Business EnergyManager service, which offers organisations a fixed price and a software tool to help understand their electricity consumption.

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Related stories:
UK building society pioneers efficiency tool for employees (4-Sept)
Carbon Trust to develop carbon management software (3-Aug)
WWF corporate ‘climate savers’ cut 100 million tonnes of emissions (11-May)
Carbon Trust launches ‘Empower’ tool to help employees save energy (5-Jan)

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