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• 1 in 4 bosses consider closing in the next year due to unprecedented energy costs.
• 83% may cut staff hours or make redundancies.
• 94% of businesses waste more than a fifth of their energy each year.
• Crisis offers boost for solar as half of respondents consider installing onsite renewables.

New research commissioned by eEnergy has found that business leaders in the hospitality and leisure sector are already starting to suffer the impacts of the energy price crisis, with a quarter of bosses considering closure in the next 12 months.

Sky-high energy bills have had a severe impact on businesses across the hospitality and leisure sector. According to the representative poll of 300 UK business owners and senior executives carried out by Censuswide on behalf of eEnergy, over three quarters have considered reducing opening hours in response to rising energy bills.

There is also concern among business leaders that the long-term effects will have an even greater impact on a sector still recovering from Covid lockdowns and supply chain challenges. Over 90% of business leaders surveyed said they did not expect energy prices to return to last year’s levels within the next 12 months. In response, 83% said they either had or were considering making redundancies or reducing staff hours to cope with rising prices.

While the unfolding crisis has been caused by record energy prices, it has been exacerbated by poor energy efficiency, with 94% of businesses reporting that they waste more than a fifth of their energy each year. With businesses likely to face more pressure in autumn and winter, calls have grown for additional government support to help ease the strain. Of the businesses surveyed, a quarter said that introducing better energy efficiency measures was the long-term solution, while nearly a third (29%) called for a government support scheme to be introduced to help the sector.

Encouragingly, amid the crisis, demand for energy efficiency solutions has jumped; from installing LED lighting, to using energy analytics to identify inefficient machinery or drive positive behavioural change.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, said: “The hospitality and leisure sector has been played a terrible hand over the past two years. Sky-high energy prices have heaped pressure on businesses still reeling from Covid. With many business owners considering redundancies or even closure, solutions are needed now, but we do not need to wait for government intervention.”

“Government grants to finance energy saving solutions only have a 5-10% conversion rate and for most it takes 6-12 months to get a decision, causing further delays and burning more cash – and carbon. We believe the answer is simple: cutting energy waste and carbon should be as accessible as any subscription service, without upfront costs.”

Crucially, the energy crisis comes at a time of growing action on environmental issues. Almost three-quarters of businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector said they had plans to reach net zero emissions, with almost half considering installing solar panels as a solution to high energy costs and the climate crisis.

This is reflected in consumer trends, with the same Censuswide research finding that three-quarters of people see a hospitality business’ sustainability credentials as an important factor when deciding where to spend their money (based on 1,000 British consumers surveyed).
Established over 20 years ago to provide cleaner energy and LED lighting to UK businesses, eEnergy has expanded its service to enable customers to measure waste, reduce carbon and energy costs, and connect to a more sustainable future. The end-to-end eEnergy service now enables businesses to access EV charging and solar power, without upfront costs, on a risk-free contract basis.

Milton Keynes Dons Football Club is among those who have identified energy efficiency measures to reduce consumption throughout its hotel and restaurants. The club projects it will reduce its energy consumption by 21% this year alone.

Pete Winkleman, Chairman of MK Dons, said: “Like all businesses, the last two years have been an incredibly challenging, particularly when it comes to hospitality. Working with eEnergy has allowed us to change the way we approach energy management and efficiency, and their proactive approach and measures have made a significant difference to our energy procurement and consumption.”

Harvey Sinclair concluded: “This survey shows UK businesses appreciate the scale of the challenge faced. We must all now work together to make better use of the affordable solutions that are readily available to overcome today’s challenges and put the UK back on track to reach net zero; from cutting energy waste to installing solar panels and EV chargers. This is good for profits and jobs, good for the planet, and it’s all possible without upfront costs or taxpayer support.”


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