A recent survey of European businesses has shown that organisations who are confident in their energy data and invested in onsite energy generation have better quality energy management, improving investment decisions, energy costs and carbon emissions.   

The research from Centrica Business Solutions included a survey of 500 organisations across Europe and was designed to explore the challenges they face when trying to manage and control their energy.  

Quality data improves energy management  

The survey uncovered that 58 per cent of respondents will not feel in control of their energy use until they have access to high quality data. 67 per cent of respondents responsible for energy management agree with this sentiment, highlighting the importance of high quality data analytics tools for businesses.  
Overall, of the organisations identified as being in control of their energy data, which the report refers to as “Data Leaders,” 43 per cent claim to be confident in managing how much energy their business consumes, compared to 16 per cent for other respondents, and 36 per cent are confident in their ability to decarbonise the business, compared to 16 per cent for other respondents. This means that Data Leaders are 20 per cent more likely to feel in control when making decarbonisation decisions.  
Interestingly, the report explores Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a solution to energy data management woes. AI could be used to make faster and more accurate decisions and predictions regarding energy supply, energy inefficiencies, and unhealthy energy patterns. The report reveals that Data Leaders are more involved with AI as a tool for data management, and identified the pharmaceutical and biomedical manufacturing industries as best acquainted with AI tools for data management.  

Hydrogen identified as an onsite energy opportunity 

The report highlights that 78 per cent of Data Leaders have made “significant progress” extracting meaningful insights from their usage data, and 66 per cent towards improving cost predictability of data. These insights instil greater confidence in organisations to invest in onsite renewable energy solutions.  
40 per cent of survey respondents said they see the appeal of onsite generation in terms of its ability to overcome market volatility. Almost a third of respondents saw onsite generation as a means of controlling and lowering energy costs. Finally, 37 per cent of respondents believe onsite generation will improve their image and meet customer expectations for sustainable goods and services.  
Of the energy sources available, hydrogen appears to have caught the attention of organisations who responded to the survey. An impressive 85 per cent of survey respondents say they have made “at least some progress” towards adopting hydrogen into their business in the past 12 months. Of the Data Leaders, 95 per cent claimed to have developed a business plan for adopting hydrogen.  
However, cost implications are a major barrier to hydrogen uptake, with a lack of relevant technologies and reliable, far-reaching hydrogen supply chains hindering its progress. 

Find out more about hydrogen, how it’s created, and the future of the industry with our guide: Our Energy Future: Hydrogen

In terms of costs, more than a third of executives surveyed believed their organisation lacked the budget to invest in onsite energy generation technologies, with 30 per cent stating regulations and tax regimes do not make investing in these technologies worthwhile.  

Opinion: Accessible renewable energy solutions are needed to help businesses manage energy costs 

It’s interesting to see hydrogen cited as a key onsite energy opportunity as presently, the cost and infrastructure would make it inaccessible for most organisations.  
Businesses considering onsite energy generation should be open-minded about the technologies and techniques they need to employ to help them achieve their energy and carbon-cutting goals. Bringing in external expertise to assess your energy data and explore your organisation’s capabilities is great start for managing your energy use and emissions. 

Priya Sirpal, Business Consultant, Green Economy


PS (2)

Explore our Net Zero toolkit

A business guide to Carbon footprinting

Before you can start your journey to net zero, it is important to understand where you are starting from. This guide explains all you need to know about carbon footprinting and how to measure this in your business.

A business guide to ‘Scope 3’ emissions

What is meant by ‘Scope 3’ greenhouse gas emissions, why they are important and how can businesses begin to measure them as part of their carbon footprint?

A business guide to setting science-based climate targets

What is meant by climate change targets that are ‘science-based’, why are they important and how can businesses follow a science-based pathway in their own carbon reduction plans?

An introduction to environmental standards

There are a dizzying number of environmental standards and accreditations available to businesses today. In this guide, we take you through the key products to help you identify the most appropriate option for your business. 

Net Zero: What it is and why it matters to you

Net zero - what is it, why should you care and what can your business do about it?

How to be a green supplier

Research shows that the carbon footprint of the average supply chain accounts for 90 per cent of a business's carbon footprint. In this guide we explore the steps businesses can take to be a green supplier of choice.

Switching to renewable electricity

One of the simplest ways for you to reduce your impact on the climate is to switch your energy supply to renewable electricity, read our step by step guide. 

A beginner’s guide to carbon offsetting

When looking to reduce emissions from your operation, carbon offsetting appears an attractive quick fix. Here we explore how carbon offsetting works, when it can be effective and why it should be the final item on your carbon reduction to-do list.

Greenwashing: What it is and how to avoid it

Understand the principals of ‘corporate greenwash’ and why businesses need to be accurate, clear and transparent when promoting their environmental credentials.

Do you install green technology or provide net zero services? 

Green Economy's partners have new sales opportunities for installers of solar, LED lighting, heat pumps, EV charging and battery storage, and for providers of energy management systems. 

Green technologies and services businesses can create a free profile on the Marketplace to receive direct enquiries from new customers, as well as exclusive sales opportunities from Green Economy. 

Find out more

Search for a local, trusted green tech supplier? 

We've brought the suppliers, installers and providers we need to deliver net zero into one single network. Search for local suppliers by technology, location and experience on the Green Economy Marketplace. 

Need more help? We can help you navigate the journey to net zero with expert support and guidance. 

Find out more

Green Economy events and training

Explore our programme of webinars, networking opportunities and a series of masterclasses designed to help businesses to demystify green technologies, to decarbonise and grow. 

Green Economy members also receive exclusive invitations to join business development events and exhibitions, and live meet the buyer sessions. 

Find out more

Share this story