Watch the webinar
- Tom Thackray, Programme Director – Decarbonisation, CBI
- Katherine Chapman, Managing Director, Ameresco
- Gabriel Wondrausch, Strategy Director, Sungift Solar
- Jeevan Vasagar, Climate Editor, Tortoise Media (Chair)
In this session:
- Energy prices are not the only thing facing businesses now - energy costs should be understood in the round alongside other headwinds.
- Businesses don't have a price cap like consumers too and issues pre-existed the conflict in Ukraine.
- Lots of firms at the moment are buying energy at spot price - 500% above normal levels or trying to negotiate contracts - starting position 2/3x what they were on previously.
- Doesn’t impact all businesses equally – depends on whether they’re able to pass on costs and how much energy they use. EIIs / industrial sectors feeling particularly under pressure.
- I don't think we've come to the end of the road on political response - reductions in council tax but will need to do more when price cap rises further - on business side of things.
- Windfall tax - superficially attractive - huge amount of investment which is required - solar, nuclear, backup and CCUS. If you're penalising businesses with a windfall tax it makes the relative investment to other countries less competitive.
- Environmental objectives: from biz perspective, no sense of softening their commitments. Many have made long term net-zero commitments.
Katherine Chapman (Ameresco)
- Provide services that range from onsite generation, efficiency projects and renewables.
- Now seeing more businesses / individuals exploring renewable solutions for the longer-term. For many it's to take away the volatility we've seen over the past 12 months.
- More businesses are now thinking about energy strategies like a financial strategy - you have 1-10 year write outs - about helping customers in a more sophisticated energy journey.
- Could be onsite renewable generation, but there are other commercial solutions we could provide for those facing immediate challenges.
- For many, significant investment in renewable energy is becoming more attractive.
- Government support for EIIs - some support schemes out there and others about to be added. Like to see those expanding in terms of sectors it covers and support it provides.
- Expecting volatility to last another 12-18 months.
- Appetite for wider solutions, particularly on on-site generation. Tying it in with carbon / decarbonisation objectives - seeing them as linked.
- Spending more time speaking about energy at board level as they look to diversify energy sources and boost their resilience.
- You can find out more on their website here: https://www.ameresco.com/
Gabriel Wondrausch (SunGift Solar)
- We've been going 17 years and have seen significant growth in that time: "Solar-coaster" - increases in demand and dips due to government incentives.
- More growth and higher demand than we have ever seen at the moment.
- When it comes to fitting solar to new builds and older builds - main thing is understanding the site and the energy demand e.g., are you considering electric vehicles / vans and electrifying fleets in the coming years? Power required to deliver it could be much more than you need now. Need to factor this in at the beginning - need good consultation with the clients.
- Technical - upkeep and maintenance programme to ensure it delivers expected.
- How suitable is solar for SMEs? Regardless of building size, there is something you can do – but most effective is when there is high energy demand and roof space.
- Work a lot with landlords and tenants - in lots of cases tenants want to lower energy costs - usually landlords are happy to do this and will purchase system from the tenant when they leave.
- Landlords who own lots of property - it's profitable for them. Some then sell that energy to their tenants.
- You can find out more on their website here: https://www.sungiftsolar.co.uk/
For further information on our Managing Rising Energy Costs campaign, visit https://www.cbi.org.uk/articles/manage-rising-energy-costs/