Business put off renewable energy by lack of government clarity

British business realises the need for energy efficiency and renewable microgeneration but a lack of clarity from government on how to tackle it is holding them back, according to a new report.

Ernst & Young, in new research published today (September 23), claims investment in energy reduction measures is ‘in danger of grinding to a halt’ as a result of a continued lack of understanding.

The information published on the company’s website reveals concerns over the length of time to get returns on investments and the amount of upfront funding it needs.

According to the financial giants 79% of business expressed concern over the length of time it would take for energy investments to show a return and 77% feared the ‘scale’ of upfront investment.

The research, which according to Ernst & Young is from a poll of board members of 251 of Britain’s leading companies, also indicates many of the easiest energy efficiency measures have already been implemented, leaving businesses with options which either require more investment, time and confidence.

Ernst & Young advisory partner power and utilities, Richard Postance, said: “With the grid coming under increasing pressure the government needs to give business certainty that investing in what are perceived to be higher cost measures such as microgeneration will be worthwhile.

“Developments like the smart grid represent a huge opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the move towards a lower-carbon economy, but too few businesses understand what it will, or could, mean for them.

“Without clarity on how upgrades to the nation’s energy infrastructure such as smart grid will facilitate return on investment, business will lack the confidence and security to take the next step on reducing their energy costs.”

Luke Walsh

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