The issue of energy expenditure for small businesses has been highlighted by the Federation of Small Businesses in a new report. And the FSB says the UK government should focus on updating and improving its carbon plan in order to promote micro-generation, efficiency, storage and demand response across the UK small business community.
The FSB also suggested that government “formally review the effectiveness of subsidies and other incentives related to low carbon generation and energy efficiency, for both small and large scale technologies.
A look at the detail of the FSB research report shows that ‘security of supply’ is the biggest energy concern for most small businesses (60%). Nearly nine in 10 (86%) small businesses believe the UK is too reliant on imported energy.
‘Renewable future an encouraging prospect’
However there remains optimism about the prospects for renewable energy. According to the research, small businesses are optimistic about the role of renewable energy generation: “Twelve per cent of FSB small businesses already generate their own electricity, the vast majority of which is from solar panels. Looking to the future, 41 per cent of FSB small businesses believe renewable and low carbon energy will be cheaper than fossil fuel in future, compared to only 23 per cent who believe it will never be as cheap.”
Meanwhile, twenty-seven per cent believe that a low carbon economy will create more opportunities than threats for their business, as opposed to just 14 per cent who believe the opposite.
FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry said the UK energy sector is facing the greatest transformation since the Industrial Revolution, “But the whole system for incentivising and subsidising infrastructure lacks transparency, consistency, direction and ambition. It needs a strategic overhaul.
“SMEs want energy security”
“The Government should produce urgently an updated carbon plan, looking specifically at small businesses as an audience. Without the input of an engaged and empowered small business community, the UK risks failing to meet its binding emissions targets.
“Our research shows small firms want energy security to be a priority. Brexit raises yet more questions about the UK’s future power supply. Infrastructure costs must be shared out equitably with small firms playing a pivotal role in securing Britain’s energy future.”