More than six in ten small businesses say they are spending up to a fifth of their total business costs on energy consumption, while eight per cent are spending a as much as 35-50 per cent.
And seven in ten of all businesses believe that the cost of their energy bill impacts the growth of their business, a view felt particularly strongly among businesses in the East Midlands.
This was disclosed in a survey of 500 firms by Tyl by NatWest whose research found that SME owners face several barriers when it comes to implementing them.
A third admitted they do not have enough time – or information – to dedicate to enforcing more sustainable measures. Of those who did, a quarter said they were not in a financial position to consider further energy saving efforts.
The Government offers various initiatives to help SMEs implement more sustainable practice, such as environmental tax reliefs, the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme and capital allowances for energy efficient equipment. But many small business owners said they are unaware of this support.
Business owners know that they can improve on the sustainable measures they have in place, but financial concerns and lack of information are holding them back
Of the companies making the most positive strides, popular sustainability practices include using LED lightbulbs, turning off production equipment at the end of each working day and using smart meters to review energy usage.
Whether big or small, making such energy-efficient changes can reap tangible benefits for a small business, according to Tyl. Almost a fifth are saving between £2,000 and £3,000 a year through energy efficient measures, while a third are saving between £1,000 and £1,999. In a time when energy costs are on the rise, SMEs can really benefit from such savings.
CEO Mike Elliff said: “It’s clear that SMEs across the UK are finding the cost of energy a barrier to the growth of their business. Improving energy efficiency in the workplace can be the most effective way to reduce these costs, whilst also playing a key role in the UK’s journey to net zero.
“Fifty per cent of the business owners Tyl spoke to know that they can improve on the sustainable measures they have in place, but financial concerns and lack of information are holding them back. Small firms require more support and information on the ways they can make savings and implement initiatives.”
See full deatils of the reaerch here