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Make UK and Inspired PLC have partnered up to publish Driving Industrial Energy Efficiencies – a guide for manufacturers detailing how energy-efficient practices and technologies can help manufacturers save money and boost productivity as they look to reach net zero.

Our research finds that most firms (92%) already see net zero as a priority, with 68% having already invested towards it and another 22% planning to in the next year.

Against the backdrop of two years of turbulent and high energy costs, and subsequently reduced profit margins, it is also no surprise that 60% of them see net zero as a commercial opportunity, with increased energy efficiency a key approach to achieving it and creating growth, increase in efficiency and new product development too.

Benefits such as lower energy costs and waste; increased productivity; longer-lasting equipment; more stable power supplies; and better environmental outcomes with fewer cooling measures required and less carbon released.

This report outlines a two-pronged approach for firms to realise these benefits and opportunities which many have already been using successfully to reduce their energy consumption.

Starting with Step 1: Undertaking Low-Cost, Low-Effort Measures where firms better their control and understanding of costs and energy usage followed by Step 2: Implementing more complex measures that require more investment which sees firms deliver more costly equipment and process upgrades.

However, on the road to industrial energy efficiency, many firms are reporting barriers stopping them in their tracks, such as a lack of information, advice and guidance, along with access to technical skills and finance.

This is why we are also calling for a Government support package to be outlined in the coming Autumn Statement, to help companies transition to net zero through energy efficiency measures. Among our calls is for them to undertake a gap analysis of the tax incentives available on energy efficiency to check that no type of business falls between the cracks.

Britain’s manufacturers have made significant steps to cut carbon emissions and move towards net zero. But to supercharge that journey, business needs Government to play its part in driving the process forward.

To that end, Government needs to commit to introducing a National Advisory Energy Service similar to the model of Made Smarter which helps SMEs digitalise their production processes. This should provide smaller funding to companies of up to £20,000, including an energy audit, sub-metering and an implementation plan as well as help businesses access the right funding.

We need to see also an immediate extension of the 12 months of 100% business rates relief on green plant machinery and equipment and building improvements to three years to reflect the business payback period.
Faye Skelton Head of Policy, Make UK
As a dedicated energy and sustainability consultant supporting the manufacturing sector, Inspired wholeheartedly endorses Make UK’s comprehensive report on energy efficiency in manufacturing.

Over the last twenty-four months, an increase in operational costs has forced manufacturers to operate with a significantly reduced margin and it is evident that energy costs now constitute a significant share of operational expenses. Make UK’s Driving Industrial Energy Efficiencies report delves into how energy-efficient practices and technologies can support cost reduction.

One of the other key takeaways from this report is that sustainability makes good business sense. By implementing sound practises and applying continuous improvement processes around energy efficiency, manufacturers can pave the way for a prosperous, cleaner and environmentally responsible future.
Andrew Stubbs Director of Optimisation Performance, Inspired PLC

Available resources

Make UK / Industry report / Net Zero