UK industry could cut energy bills by £540m through clean tech

24th September 2018


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Helen North

The UK’s industrial sector could save at least £540m every year on its energy bills by adopting new clean technologies like battery storage, according to analysis by Centrica.

In a report published yesterday, the energy company also estimates that UK growth and productivity could be boosted by £13.9bn in gross value added (GVA) if just half of businesses make the technology upgrades.

The government has set the industrial sector a 2030 target of improving its energy productivity by 20%, with the latest analysis suggesting that better efficiency could reduce its £12bn annual energy bill by around 5%.

“In 2017, the industrial sector used 92 million megawatt hours of energy,” Centrica Business Solutions managing director, Jorge Pikunic, said. “As well as being a staggering statistic, I believe this is also a clear signal of opportunity.

“By exploiting the energy technology of the 21st century, the industrial sector can inspire a new revolution and help secure business advantage – a particularly important opportunity for the UK as it adapts to life outside the EU.”

The latest research covers major manufacturing and production activities, such as steel and chemicals production, accounting for around one-quarter of the UK’s entire electricity demand.

Centrica also estimates that if half of the industry, healthcare and hospitality and leisure sectors invested in energy saving solutions, their bills could be cut by almost £1bn each year.

The saving opportunities identified involve the adoption of distributed energy technology, such as new heating and lighting, solar, combined heat and power, and battery storage.

This comes after the government’s Clean Growth Strategy committed £10m to improve energy efficiency in buildings, and a further £10m for innovations that provide low-carbon heat.

The Energy Institute (EI) said the strategy “breathes new life” into decarbonising the UK, praising the government for listening to professionals working in the energy sector.

“Taking energy efficiency seriously in homes, businesses and industry will cut emissions, bring down bills and increase productivity more effectively than anything else,” EI CEO, Louise Kingham, added.

Image credit: iStock

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