“PM’s energy plan is a short-term solution,” says climate tech leader

Prime minister Liz Truss’ energy plan for businesses is a short-term solution, a built environment sector leader has argued. The prime minister announced today that businesses would be helped to counter rising energy bills via a new six-month scheme.

Richard Fletcher, director of the built environment climate tech firm IES, said: “Today’s announcement, whilst welcome, only outlines a short-term solution to what will inevitably be a long-term problem. Whilst businesses will receive some immediate relief, the energy market remains fragile and businesses need to ensure that they use this time to prepare for when bills begin to rise again once this limited support ends.

“The announcement has shown that businesses cannot afford to rely on government support alone when it comes to navigating the energy crisis. The long-term solution to this situation is to take energy consumption into our own hands and explore all opportunities to decrease demand and move away from using price-volatile and carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

“Over the next six months, businesses may wish to consider how they can make their premises more energy efficient and put plans in place to become more self-sufficient when it comes to energy generation. This will enable them to reduce energy bills, as well as mitigate future vulnerability to energy supply issues.

“Organisations need to have a deep and detailed understanding of their building’s energy consumption. Without this level of understanding and data, it’s not possible to make informed decisions around building operations, building improvements and renewable energy strategies.

“Technology, such as digital twins, can be utilised to gather this information and find out exactly how and where energy is being used across the premises. It can then be used to model various energy saving measures and identify those which will prove to be the most effective and offer the greatest return on investment. Alongside this, capturing an understanding of energy generation options can also offset future price shocks.

“Businesses still face tough times ahead, and whilst it seems that they will receive some support in the short-term, for many there will be significant challenges. With a difficult winter yet to come, businesses need to act now. While more government support may be forthcoming, businesses must take action now to improve their energy efficiency, and develop renewable energy generation strategies, thus equipping themselves better to deal with future energy challenges.”