‘Cost and complexity’ putting SMEs off renewable energy

Small businesses understand energy efficiency and are "switched on" to renewable energy, but the cost and complexity of buying energy from renewable sources is putting them off.

That is the conclusion of a poll of 500 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) decision-makers by business-to-business energy supplier Opus Energy, which found that nearly three quarters (72%) are not currently on a specific renewable energy tariff, but would consider it in the future.

However, the rest of respondents said they would rule it out as a result of cost (47%) and complexity (18%), while one third (29%) claimed not to be interested in switching.

Commenting on the findings, Opus Energy managing director Charlie Crossley Cooke, said that it provides a “useful insight into the real impact of current renewable policy on UK small businesses” and called for greater transparency around renewable energy sources.

He added: “We estimate that around 10% of every customer’s bill is made up of green subsidies and that the proportion of renewable subsidies that all UK businesses pay will rise by around 25% over the next 12 months. SMEs are paying for renewable energy whether it’s clear to them or not.

“There needs to be more transparency for small businesses around the contribution they are already making to renewables – and perhaps then there’ll be greater take up by SMEs.”

Carys Matthews

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