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Energy efficiency market confidence continues to soar

Confidence in the non-domestic energy efficiency market has never been higher, according to a new report.

Figures released by the Green Investment Bank - and produced by EEVS Insight - revealed demand for the sector's services is continuing to increase, while almost half of the organisations that fall under the umbrella are expanding their workforces.

As a result, suppliers told researchers that their business outlook is now at its most positive since records began, just over two years ago.

Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of firms reported an increase in UK-based orders in the second quarter of 2014, taking the confidence index score to more than 100 points - the first time this has been achieved since the second quarter of 2012.

Green Investment Bank head of strategy Bill Rogers said: "Although a relatively new market in the UK, non-domestic energy efficiency is fast growing and is forecast to require up to £15bn of investment between now and 2020."

Mr Rogers also commented the optimism was "good news", particularly considering how young the market is.

As well as analysing the health of the sector, the study focused on where projects were taking place. It found that a range of properties were being improved through energy efficiency schemes, with the main types being schools, offices and public buildings.

Another trend that was identified was that consumers are expecting to be given longer time to pay off their finance agreements to fund such work, with over a third now expecting payback to be spread out across a five-year period.

However, a potential challenge in the future could be pressure on suppliers to reduce their costs, with almost one in five (19 per cent) highlighting this as an issue. In addition to this, more than a quarter (27 per cent) said they were worried about customer demand, suggesting another potential problem in the future.

The market is currently valued at between £10 billion and £15 billion, while the median project cost now totals £167,000.

Posted by Helen Hughes