UK must tackle wasted energy to cut emissions, report says



A recent report by Schneider Electric has revealed that 117 million tonnes of UK emissions were created by wasted energy in 2018, primarily through building inefficiencies. Researchers looked into the behaviours, priorities and investments in relation to the sustainability of 400 large businesses, 120 small to medium enterprises and 2,000 customers in the UK, which should help others on how to stop wasting energy..

Wasted energy and businesses

Findings revealed that, on average, business decision-makers estimate that they waste 36 per cent of energy within their business, showing that more businesses need to know how to stop wasting energy. However, even though 100 per cent of respondents believe that their business is wasting energy, 44 per cent said they hadn’t or did not know if they had implemented any energy-saving initiatives.

The difference between approaches to large businesses versus small businesses was notable, with 40 per cent of SMEs reporting that they currently do not measure loss of energy within their business, compared to 40 per cent of large businesses.

The report also indicates that cost was a significant barrier for businesses to adopt energy-saving measures. However, Schneider Electric has shown that the average project designed to fight energy waste pays for itself after only three years.

The blame game

6.4 million UK consumers (12 per cent) have no intention of reducing their energy consumption, while 76 per cent believe they are already doing enough to save energy. 58 per cent blamed others for energy waste in the home, with 25 per cent pointing fingers at their partners for leaving devices and switches on.

Mike Hughes, zone president of Schneider Electric said: “This research is a wakeup call. Energy waste cannot be overlooked in our fight against climate change, just because it’s invisible.”

“We may not be able to see the impact energy waste is having on our planet as graphically as that of plastic waste in oceans or on beaches, but it is clear that reducing waste energy has a significant role to play in reducing our emissions.”

“This is an easy win, it doesn’t require the same level of investment that is needed to decarbonise our economy. The effects of reducing emissions from wasted energy could be felt immediately, buying us much needed time to tackle some of the harder measures that society will inevitably have to face.”

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