Energy buyers at some of the UK’s most energy-hungry organisations are struggling to convince their leadership teams to let them invest in new energy technology, according to research conducted by Centrica.
In an annual poll of more than 100 private and public-sector organisations, a third (34%) of respondents warned that achieving board level buy-in was still the biggest energy challenge facing their organisation, down only 1% on last year.
Nearly half of respondents believed that political uncertainty could make it difficult for UK businesses to improve their energy infrastructure.
A further 34% highlighted that rising pressure from other areas of their businesses, including wage costs and workforce skills gaps, were diverting attention away from energy investment.
The poll showed that appetite to invest had increased, although still less than half (49%) of organisations said they planned to spend more than £1m on energy technology over the next two years (33% in 2017).
Gab Barbaro, British Gas Business managing director, has urged senior decision-makers in both the public and private sectors to embrace new technologies or risk falling behind.
Barbaro said: “We are in the middle of an energy revolution and investing in modern infrastructure is vital to organisations achieving the resilience and efficiency they need.
“Energy buyers recognise this but need support from their boards to help bring the UK’s energy system into the 21st century.
“Forward-thinking organisations we work with from around the world are already reducing their costs, lowering their carbon emissions and increasing their productivity by adopting new energy technologies.”
When asked what would be the biggest energy trend of the coming decade, half of firms (50%) believed that battery storage would be most important, followed by using Internet of Things devices to manage energy with more flexibility.