Findings from the survey, carried out by Siemens Industry, show that 88% of respondents said that banks and the financial sector were either not interested in supporting investment in energy efficient technologies or provided ‘little feedback’.

Approximately one in ten respondents had ‘positive feedback’ but less than 1% had actually received finance for this type of investment.

Head of energy efficiency at Siemens Industry, Stephen Barker, said: “The Government increased capital allowances in the last budget for firms wanting to invest in energy efficient technologies and has also created the positive, but still emerging, Green Investment Bank which is a good start.

Barker believes the effectiveness of these measures is limited as there is currently a critical gap in the actual delivery of finance for investment in the wider end user community.

And this is partly why businesses are becoming sceptical of the UK meeting its emissions targets, says Barker. In a joint poll of over 300 senior energy specialists across the UK, only a third (33%) thought it was possible for Britain to meet its 2050 energy targets to reduce emissions by 80%.

More than half (55%) of respondents thought the target would not be met, with the remaining 12% undecided.

Barker said: “The root of the problem is that we are often too short term in our thinking. What businesses need is access to affordable credit to allow them to make these types of investment, which can be capital intensive in the short term – but in the long term there is a reward of much lower energy costs which can transform the profitability of the manufacturing sector.

“There is still an issue that end users need to engage more with the opportunities that energy efficiency offers,” he added.

Leigh Stringer

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