One in six firms want more efficient lighting

One in six businesses want to upgrade their lighting to improve efficiency, according to government research conducted in preparation for the launch of the Green Deal.

Factories and warehouses need convincing to upgrade their lighting

Nearly half of the companies surveyed by BMG Research on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change said they had already installed ‘replacement lighting or lighting controls’ – although the survey did not ask when or what type.

Six per cent said they had plans to upgrade their lighting, with large businesses more than twice as likely to be planning changes as small ones.

But of the companies who said they didn’t already have low-energy lighting, most weren’t interested. These firms, not yet convinced of the benefits of upgrading to more efficient lighting, made up a quarter of all those surveyed.

Hotels, restaurants, shops and operators of residential premises such as care homes were the most likely to have upgraded their lighting already, while offices, warehouses and pubs were least likely to have done so.

Among those who haven’t replaced their lighting already, pubs, restaurants and hotels were most likely to be interested, while factories, warehouses and shops were in need of the most convincing. However, big opportunities still remain at warehouses and offices because relatively few have made changes already.

The vast majority of businesses surveyed (89 per cent) said they were already reducing energy costs by using their existing equipment more efficiently – including turning lights off when they are not in use.

The overwhelming motivation for energy-efficiency measures was to cut costs, with environmental concerns coming a distant second. Lack of funds, not surprisingly, was found to be the biggest barrier to taking steps, mentioned by one third of survey participants.

The study estimated that about a quarter of businesses would consider funding energy-efficiency improvements through the Green Deal, which aims to allow companies to pay for upgrades from the savings on their energy bills.

The business sectors most concerned about energy efficiency and most likely to be interested in the Green Deal included manufacturing, accommodation, food and education.

The study involved a telephone survey of 2,800 business, charities and voluntary organisations conducted between September and November last year, combined with in-depth interviews with 30 companies and 17 landlords of commercial premises.

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