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Energy efficiency 'a challenge for SMEs'

Across the industrial and commercial sectors, businesses are investing heavily in energy efficiency measures. However, it's proving to be a challenge to get the message out to smaller organisations.

That's according to Stephen Beynon, managing director at British Gas Business. He believes smaller firms can find it more difficult than big firms to make the changes that are necessary to improve their efficiency.

"For a small business customer, it's finding the time and also knowing what they can do to reduce their consumption," he told Energy Live News.

Mr Beynon pointed out that energy efficiency technology is an important consideration for small businesses because it can lead to potentially huge savings.

"It's a question of the industry guiding and showing what can be done and helping people share that information," he added.

Mr Beynon acknowledged that a lot of businesses are taking steps to reduce their energy consumption - and praised the effort that has been made, saying that cuts to energy use aren't just good for the environment - they can also reduce business costs and improve competitiveness. 

He also urged companies to share ideas and success stories: "In the industry, more sharing of that kind of activity is really important."

For small businesses, inspiration can come from a wide variety of sources - such as the efficiency improvements available to big firms, as well as homeowners. For example, there may be ways to make industrial processes more energy efficient, but adding cavity wall insulation to offices can also have a big impact.

Mr Beynon says he is optimistic about what the next government can provide in terms of energy efficiency for business. "I'm hopeful they will recognise the need for the stability that's required to create an investment climate that the country needs," he said.

Recent projections from the Committee for Climate Change indicate that energy bills for the industrial and commercial sector could rise by up to 45 per cent by 2030.