npower research has revealed more than half (55%) of the nation’s small and medium-sized businesses will be taking an extended break over Christmas by shutting down completely from Christmas Eve until the New Year.
A significant amount (59%) of SMEs also say they will be reducing their operating hours, but nearly one third (31%) will not be adjusting their building systems to reflect these changes, meaning they could miss out on potential savings.
The research undertaken among more than 300 SMEs across the UK also revealed energy efficiency will increase as a business priority in 2013 for nearly one third (30%) of businesses.
Phil Scholes, SME Markets Director at npower, commented: “We undertook research among SMEs just before Christmas to highlight the opportunities for businesses to save energy. There are some simple measures such as ensuring lights and equipment are switched off and that heating systems are set to reflect the changes in opening hours, which can really make a big difference.
“We’d encourage those SMEs looking to take a break this year to fully embrace this great opportunity to make some savings, and with our research revealing energy efficiency is set to increase as a business priority in 2013, why not get the year off to a good start?”
While a significant number of SMEs do not have plans in place to manage energy waste over the shut down period, some businesses have planned ahead and the research shows that switching off equipment and lights are the most popular energy saving measures for forward-thinking companies. In addition, more than two thirds (69%) of those who will be reducing their operating hours over Christmas said they will change the settings on their building systems such as heating and lighting to reflect these changes, ensuring they will be able to use energy as efficiently as possible.
Phil Scholes continued: “It is great to see some businesses are ensuring they don’t waste energy over the Christmas break. Most organisations can save up to 20 per cent on their fuel bills by better managing their energy use and investing in cost-effective measures, so there is a real opportunity for more SMEs to save in 2013.”