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Construction industry feeling heat from rising energy costs

RISING energy prices and the state of the economy are the biggest worries facing the British property and construction industry in 2010, according to research released by the Carbon Trust to launch its ‘Best Advice’ campaign, which aims to persuade British companies to stop wasting more than £3 billion of energy every year.

Of the business decision-makers surveyed, 64% said they are worried about the unstable economy and more than half (55%) said they are worried about energy prices hikes. However, while 42% of the businesses surveyed said they planned to reduce the amount of energy their business uses, nearly one in five (19%) admitted that no one within their organization was responsible for managing energy consumption and controlling costs.

The Best Advice campaign, which was launched by Ian Cheshire, group chief executive officer of Kingfisher, parent company of B&Q, calls on businesses to take the first step to cutting energy wastage through a free Carbon Survey from the Carbon Trust.

Available free of charge to all businesses that spend between £50,000 and £3 million on energy each year, the survey provides the services of an energy expert on site and a tailored energy-saving action plan. It typically identifies possible savings on energy costs of between 20% and 30%.

One business that has already taken advantage of the service and cut its energy bills as a result is landscaping product manufacturer Marshalls. Since first receiving a Carbon Trust survey in 2008, the company has significantly cut its energy costs and made a carbon saving of 2,000 tonnes of CO2.

Marshalls’ group marketing director, Chris Harrop, said: ‘It is simply good business sense to be smarter about the way we use energy. It cuts costs, makes us more efficient and improves our reputation with customers.

‘I would encourage any business that has yet to embark on the energy efficiency journey to pick up the phone and book in a Carbon Trust survey. It is likely to be the best piece of free advice a business will get this year.’

All businesses spending £50,000 or more on their energy consumption are being urged to visit: www.thebestadvice.co.uk; or tel: (01865) 885788 for more information and to register for their free Carbon Survey.

Businesses spending less than £50,000 can access free expert advice via a new ‘Cut Carbon, Cut Costs’ online tutorial at: www.carbontrust.co.uk/onlinetraining. This gives easy-to-follow video advice on how to cut energy bills and shows users how to calculate potential savings and develop a plan for achieving them.

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