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Environmental Concern Tops Priority List For Energy Investments

More companies see environmental issues as their top concern when making decisions regarding energy investments, a PwC survey among UK businesses has found.

The PwC & Energy UK B2B Survey found that 46 percent of industrial and commercial businesses planned to invest in renewable energy more than they would invest in any other technology and that an even bigger portion of the respondent pool, at 53 percent, had business strategies in place that included an energy efficiency target.

At the same time, the number of companies whose top priority in energy investments was low cost fell to less than a third, PwC said. The differences are marked based on the size of the companies as well.

Among small and medium-sized companies, cost concerns were still pretty important, with 42 percent of respondents from this segment saying they would base their energy investment decisions on its cost-cut potential. Still, this is less than half, even in this segment.

Among commercial businesses, the portion of companies basing their energy investment decisions on cost considerations is even lower, at 21 percent. Of those among them that have an energy strategy, a third said they were more concerned about the environmental impact of their energy investment decisions than the cost reduction potential. However, the difference between the two groups was not too great, with those concerned most with costs at 27 percent of the sample.

This picture is very different from the one that the survey from PwC and Energy UK revealed just two years ago. At the time, 46 percent of respondents were most concerned about costs with just a fifth citing environmental issues as their top priority.

"Energy suppliers - from traditional to disruptive new entrants - will need to adapt their approaches as the fight for market share within the energy transformation heats up,” said the head of energy for the UK at PwC, Steve Jennings, as quoted by Business Green. “This means providing much more than just cost savings - environmentally focused options will also be needed to win the hearts and minds of energy users."

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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