Post-Brexit confidence in energy efficiency takes a dip

The energy efficiency sector has seen supplier confidence continue to fall following Brexit, according to the latest quarterly report from Energy Efficiency Verification Specialists (EEVS).

The UK Energy Efficiency Trends report, which takes into account trends in supplier order books, staffing, sale prices and government action, reveals supplier confidence dropped 21 points in the first quarter of 2016, falling below zero for the first time since the report was initially published in 2012, with the figure tumbling from -4 to -38 points in the second quarter.

The survey, conducted in partnership with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and Bellrock, received statistics from 89 UK-based respondents, with energy-efficient lighting seeing one of its biggest drops in deployment to date, falling from a rolling four-quarter average of 70 per cent to 59 per cent. However, it remains the leading energy efficiency technology, with smart meters and remote lighting controls catching up.

The report also shows that commercial property continues to lead the way in terms of energy efficiency technology installed, while around 38 per cent of suppliers rated customer demand as their main concern in the sector, followed by national competition and raising finance, totalling 26 and 12 per cent respectively.

Ian Jeffries, director at EEVS, believes that the fall in supplier confidence can be directly linked to lacklustre order book growth but is likely to have been exacerbated by the Brexit uncertainty, while also emphasising how customers’ buying habits have adjusted.

“This quarter’s results have also shown some material shifts in consumer buying preferences. Until now, lighting has been the dominant technology of choice. It is still top of the pile, but consumer interest in BEMS and smart metering has shot up considerably,” he said.

“Lighting looks to have taken much of the hit and we saw an uncharacteristically sharp dip this quarter. If this trend were to continue, these performance management-based technologies could potentially challenge lighting for the top spot in the forthcoming quarters.”

Richard Singleton, managing director, corporate, at Bellrock added: "Without doubt the Brexit decision has created uncertainty whether or not organisations have international reach.

“The universal response is to be cautious and focus on business as usual. Reducing energy bills and creating more certainty for operating costs is a positive response for helping to stabilise for a positive future."

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