£1bn annual energy savings possible across key economic sectors

A number of key sectors in the economy could achieve almost £1bn of savings on annual energy spend, while delivering an £18.5bn boost to the country’s overall economic growth, according to new research.

Centrica’s ‘Powering Britain’s Economic Future’ report reveals that NHS England could make an annual saving of over 20 per cent on the £0.5bn cost of its energy, as well as identifying that gross value added across the UK from industry can potentially hit almost £14bn.

The report assesses the scale of the opportunity across the industrial; healthcare; and hospitality, hotel & leisure sectors, while assuming a 50 per cent deployment of solutions across businesses in each of those sectors. It has been published in response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Annual energy savings of over £300m could be made across the hospitality, hotel and leisure sector, according to the paper, while the industrial and health sectors could save £540m and £130m respectively.

The research also makes three key recommendations for “unlocking the potential of distributed energy in the UK,” including the BEIS committing to assessing the role distributed energy solutions could play in delivering long term energy cost reductions for the UK and promoting these solutions across Government and public bodies.

The other recommendations detail how the Committee on Climate Change should consider if the utilisation of new energy solutions for larger energy users could represent a lower cost route to decarbonisation, along with the need for the Government to review the incentivisation of businesses to utilise distributed energy solutions and the markets and schemes available to reward flexibility.

Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director of Centrica Distributed Energy and Power, believes that energy has been a key driver of productivity over the last 50 years, but it’s clear that more needs to be done in support of improved efficiency and future economic growth. 

“This report shines a light on the scale of the opportunity for distributed energy technologies to contribute to the aims of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, reducing public sector costs and creating new opportunities for growth in the UK,” he said.

“I believe there is an opportunity to create a new sector for the economy that could offer significant export potential, encompassing energy, technology, innovation and services. The UK can establish itself as a world leader in developing and managing the energy systems of the future. The challenge is to make that a reality.”

The report has been published by Centrica’s international Distributed Energy and Power unit, which provides energy insight, asset optimisation and energy solutions to large energy users under the Centrica Business Solutions banner.

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