Stewart Grierson of UpNorth

Member Article

Stewart Grierson on support for energy intensive companies

Stewart Grierson is MD and founder of Upnorth Group - a group of specialist companies founded in 2000 providing expertise in a wide range of energy efficient services to the commercial industry and corporate societies.

Following the Autumn Budget announcement that the Government will release a £250 million support package available for energy intensive firms, Stewart shares with Bdaily why this is good for companies who have been struggling to reduce their energy consumption.

Upnorth Group is predicting that as energy costs continue to rise the problem is likely to manifest itself mainly on the larger private sector operators, especially manufacturing, leisure and the process engineering industry.

The Autumn Statement has outlined proposals to support energy intensive industries in their quest to meet their energy performance objectives and has confirmed that low interest funding streams will be made available to support enterprise and further the growth and development of SMEs and larger companies.

Although this is positive for steady or growing private companies, what does this mean to companies who are generally struggling to manage cost and remain competitive? Irrespective of who you are in business, the release of funding available or the acknowledgement of initiatives such as these are very important in order to allow us to continuously adapt to a more challenging market.

Whilst the rise in energy cost is frightening to most home owners it is crippling a lot of businesses.

Businesses and sectors that rely heavily on energy services will have to rethink their business strategy in order to survive in these times. The cost of energy in business used to just be an overhead - now it is a major cost on sale or delivery that we need to adjust to. Remodelling commercial strategies, for some, may just not be enough.

In the heavy energy sector businesses must use whatever resource possible to establish how they can rationalise the use of unnecessary energy going forward. There is so much technology available to help reduce costs that business owners are advised to assess this upfront, learn and understand what options they have to improve and reduce cost of sale.

Last week, for example, we completed an assessment for an existing client (food manufacturing company) who was concerned about the rising cost of energy and how it was affecting their bottom line. The results were staggering - eight hours of slow cooking their product cost more in gas than the actual main ingredient so producing eight tons of the product per day meant that this loss in energy became a considerable factor in them losing money.

With the funding available now to support energy intensive firms, we are advising that all businesses consider the benefits of this and to understand its improvement options. With the investment in energy saving products or services, businesses will be able to reach their average target unit energy cost and remain competitive in their sector.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kari Owers .

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