The analysis was unveiled by the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme, a corporate green lending service backed by engineering giant Siemens and the Carbon Trust consultancy that aims to provide "pay-as-you-save" financing to businesses, enabling them to undertake energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost and then make repayments using the resulting savings on energy bills.
The analysis was based on official sources and proprietary data collected by EEF on a number of key industrial sectors concluded that switching to cost-effective energy efficient equipment would deliver multi-billion pound savings to businesses.
"Our analysis has shown that there is a huge market potential for energy savings from business investment in energy-efficient equipment, amounting to over £3.7bn per year across the country, and around £2.2bn in the industrial sector alone," said Darren Riva, Head of Green Financing of the EEF scheme. "That potential energy saving covers motors, compressed air, high/low temperature processes, lighting and space heating, amongst others." The EEF initiative could help businesses realise these savings, allowing them to curb greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills without the need for capital expenditure.
"In the current credit squeeze, a major problem for firms has been access to affordable finance to enable business to make those green investments," he said. "That is why EEF was created - a joint financing initiative between the Carbon Trust and Siemens - to make finance more accessible and affordable for companies, especially SMEs. The EEF scheme matches monthly payments to real monthly energy cost savings, which means that firms effectively end up paying no extra for their new equipment investment."
Myles McCarthy, Managing Director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services, said growing numbers of businesses were taking up the new offer and using financing to fund the deployment of a wide range of energy savings technologies such as new LED lighting systems and biomass heating. But he added that there was a compelling case for more firms to investigate energy efficiency savings.
"These figures demonstrate the huge opportunity businesses have to save energy and cost," he said. "Wise businesses who ensure their operations are using energy efficiently in these difficult economic times will reap huge benefits."
The report came as the World Building Council this week unveiled a new report detailing the increasingly compelling business case for investment in greener buildings.
The report, entitled Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants, explores how green building designs and technologies can deliver long term cost savings to investors, property owners, and occupants.