Average UK businesses risking £2.8m of annual revenue through lack of energy resilience

UK businesses without an energy resilience strategy are risking 17 per cent of their revenue, equating to £2.8m each year in damages and lost opportunities. This is a key finding from Centrica Business Solutions’ research into the current state of energy resilience. The Resilience Report, which details the findings, is a result of a survey of more than 300 organisations across the UK and Ireland.

Responding to the survey, senior energy decision-makers who had not experienced a serious energy failure predicted the cost to their business would be seven per cent of their annual revenue. In reality, UK and Irish businesses impacted by blackouts or even very temporary ‘brown outs’ found the actual figure was much higher, estimated to be 17 per cent. For the typical UK medium-sized business, this equates to £2.8m.

Energy resilience, having a secure and reliable source of energy, helps companies reduce the risk of operational failures and reduce commercial risk. There are tangible benefits to having a resilience strategy in place, with organisations 13 percentage points more likely to have a good brand reputation and 34 percentage points more likely to have strong financial performance.

The importance businesses attach to energy resilience is clear. 88 per cent of UK businesses surveyed stated it was important – and 58 per cent said it is becoming critical for businesses to be energy resilient. At the same time, 52 per cent of respondents think they will experience energy related failure in the next year.

Despite this, only 16 per cent of companies are making energy resilience a top priority and only 18 per cent of businesses have a formal energy resilience strategy. A further 32 per cent of businesses have no form of energy resilience strategy in place at all.

Alan Barlow, UK Director of Centrica Business Solutions said: “It’s clear that businesses see the importance of energy resilience, both to ensure a reliable energy supply, and to prepare for changes in the energy landscape. How to create a strategy to do that, however, is less clear. What we know is that ignoring the risks can be very damaging. Without an energy resilience strategy, organisations can only be as successful as their energy supply allows.

“There are reputational and financial benefits to an energy resilience strategy so it’s important that organisations make the right investments and take steps towards implementing a strategy. Back-up power systems provide protection against power outages, and batteries can provide energy in less than a second, mitigating the risks of temporary brown outs.”

The report also revealed that eight out of ten organisations have experienced at least one energy-related failure in the past year, of which almost one in four experienced equipment damage as a result. Businesses aren’t ready for these failures, with one third of organisations unprepared for temporary grid failure.

Centrica Business Solutions has developed an energy resilience checker which allows organisations to assess their preparedness for energy disruption. The tool is free to use and can be found at: www.centricabusinesssolutions.com/resilience.