Now is the time to invest in sustainable energy - before Brexit bites

Lorien is advising firms to embed energy resilience as UK enjoys a breather from rising costs, but as we also prepare for Brexit.

  Businesses should take advantage of stable energy prices and invest in sustainability now, according to Lorien Engineering Solutions.

 The latest Lorien Energy Index (LEI) shows that prices increased by around one per cent between quarters two and three of 2016. This is four per cent lower than the same period in 2015.

 Sustainability consultant Tom Jordan said: “Now is the time to embed sustainability, energy and resilience into strategic planning whilst the delay from the upward trend in energy costs has given the sector a breather.

 “The precautionary principle taught in environmental economics is that ‘doing nothing’ is a gamble. Once the energy markets have rebalanced, it is expected that the overall costs of energy from fossil fuels will realign with the upward trend previously seen.”

 Burton-based Lorien Engineering Solutions, which produces the Index, said there was an element of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ for energy customers looking to manage future costs.

 Before the dramatic fall in oil wholesale prices, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warned that business energy costs were predicted to rise by around a third by 2030.

 Even with historically low wholesale prices, there were also warnings from Utilitywise last year that although the wholesale cost of electricity to industry will remain static to 2021, this could more than double when the additional factors of climate change mitigation, network and transmission charges are factored in.

 This is echoed within Energyst’s 2017 Directors Report, which states that non-commodity costs will soon make up two-thirds of energy bills.

 Tom said the food and drink manufacturing sector faced a major challenge due to its high reliance on energy for processing, product chilling and cold chain logistics. He said many facilities were also struggling with ageing plant, the constraints of old buildings and the lack of available space to develop.

 He added: “It is pleasing to see the Government’s Green Paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ placing emphasis on energy innovation. This presents a great opportunity in the medium to long term, althou gh there is much that can be done now to enhance business resilience to energy costs. ”

And with Brexit round the corner, many manufacturers in the UK are looking sceptically at the current low energy prices.

 The "Lorien Energy Index" monitors the overall cost of energy for business users. It enables companies to make sense of their current energy consumption and look at ways they can make savings in the future through energy efficiency and using low carbon and renewable technologies to boost energy security.