A third of UK businesses now producing their own electricity, survey reveals

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8th November 2018 12:25 - Utilities

A third of UK businesses now producing their own electricity: Senior executives from a range of industries were polled in a survey conducted for The Economist, to gain an insight into their energy usage and strategies, and interest in self-generating.

Findings published in the Distributed Generation: A Brighter Future report reveal a third of the businesses polled now generate some of their own power, with the retail sector leading the way with almost 40% of businesses producing their own energy. Manufacturing was second with 36.5% self-generating, followed by logistics/transport (32.7%) and hospitality (30.95).

When it comes to future plans to generate on-site electricity, three-quarters of businesses polled in the manufacturing sector are actively investigating increasing the amount of electricity they self-produce (75.7%), with 68.7% doing the same in retail, hospitality (66.4%) and logistics and transport (64.5%).

The primary reason was cost savings (48%) followed by environmental considerations (38%). Other considerations were tax or other incentives for renewable fuels (37%), brand perception (27%) and supply reliability (23%). Twenty-one percent of respondents said that producing their own power was a strategic decision to enter the power production business, with 6 percent taking their ambitions even further seeing is an opportunity to sell the energy produced to the grid.

Of all the energy types currently being produced by companies, solar power was the most popular. with 6 out of 10 businesses using it. Wind power is also being used (although more challenging than solar), with just over a quarter of self-producers utilising the wind's energy-making potential. Over half of those polled (53%) admit to considering adopting it in the future.

The good news for utilities companies is that businesses do not want their self-producing endeavours to eclipse the role of traditional energy providers. When asked if electricity utilities should remain the main energy producers, 62% said they 'strongly' or 'somewhat agree'.



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