117 million tonnes of UK emissions were created in 2018 by wasted energy, primarily through inefficiencies in buildings, according to a report published by Schneider Electric.
A group of researchers examined the behaviours, priorities and investments in relation to sustainability of 400 large businesses, 120 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and 2,000 customers in the UK.
The researchers found that on average business decision-makers estimate that 36% of the energy their business consumes is wasted.
However, despite 100% of respondents believing their business wastes energy, almost half (44%) said that they hadn’t or didn’t know if they had implemented any energy-saving initiatives.
There was a big difference between the approach of big business compared to small businesses, 40% of SMEs reported that they don’t currently measure energy loss within their business, compared to just 14% of large businesses.
According to the report, a significant barrier for businesses to adopt energy-saving measures was the cost of doing so.
However, Schneider Electric has shown that the average project aimed at tackling waste energy pays for itself in three years.
The report shows that 6.4 million UK consumers (12%) have no intention of curbing their energy use, and 76% believe that they already do enough when it comes to saving energy.
58% of consumers blamed others for energy waste in the home, with 25% claiming their partner or spouse was the worse culprit for leaving lights, devices or appliances switched on at home.
Mike Hughes, zone president of Schneider Electric said: ‘This research is a wakeup call.’
‘Energy waste cannot be overlooked in our fight against climate change, just because it’s invisible.’
‘We may not be able to see the impact energy waste is having on our planet as graphically as that of plastic waste in oceans or on beaches, but it is clear that reducing waste energy has a significant role to play in reducing our emissions.’
‘This is an easy win, it doesn’t require the same level of investment that is needed to decarbonise our economy.’
‘The effects of reducing emissions from wasted energy could be felt immediately, buying us much needed time to tackle some of the harder measures that society will inevitably have to face.’
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