The British Retail Consortium has just launched a campaign – “25 in 5” – aiming to help the sector save over £4.1bn by reducing energy consumption by 25 per cent over the next five years.
The 25-in-5 initiative is calling on government to simplify a “complex and inaccessible policy landscape” that has led to widespread confusion and disengagement in energy efficiency.
The BRC says that this has in turn contributed to significant lack of confidence in energy efficiency investment creating a major barrier to tackle the UK’s energy trilemma of Climate Change, Energy Security and Affordability.
As an adjunct, there is now a shortfall in the jobs and skills needed to ensure energy efficiency within the retail industry.
SaveMoneyCutCarbon is fully behind the 25-in-5 campaign and it reinforces the arguments we have been putting forward over the past two years around the urgent need to have a coherent national energy efficiency and water management strategy that by nature should be clear, targeted and fully supported.
Our work with retailers is already delivering energy savings through solutions like LED lighting, which reduces electricity consumption by up to 85% and at the same time, using full-spectrum light technology from partners like Soraa, improves or replicates older, energy-guzzling lighting.
The BRC campaign wants to help retailers achieve significant energy savings and plans to launch an online hub soon that provides energy efficiency advice to retailers of all sizes.
The energy efficiency initiative is focused on BRC research from 2013 that forecasts costs for the sector could increase to at least £4.4bn by 2020. Most of this projected increase could be wiped out if retailers adopt “25-in-5” measures.
Retail is the second highest energy consuming industry in the UK, costing companies a combined £3.3bn in 2013, accounting for nearly a fifth of UK carbon emissions.
Energy use among BRC members has halved since 2005 but the BRC insists major opportunities for financial savings and environmental improvements remain untapped.
The BRC campaign paper, “25-in-5: Unlocking energy efficiency through smart regulation” underlines that:
- Increasing the energy efficiency of operations remains the most cost effective way of reducing energy cost in relation to operating profits and will save significant amounts in operating costs for the long term
- Unlocking energy efficiency would tackle energy and carbon reduction as well as ensuring the retail industry is economically sustainable for the future
- Initial analysis shows that a minimum of £4.4bn in additional energy spend is expected in the retail industry over the next five years, demonstrating the scale of investment in retail energy efficiency that could be unlocked if policy addressing energy and carbon were harmonised
- Smart regulation would generate significant economic growth as well as delivering huge potential for additional employment in an energy efficiency industry in the UK and export of expertise on a global market
- Enhanced action in energy efficiency would lead to greater stability in the UK economy as well as help protect the UK against future economic downturn.
The BRC argues that: “Smart regulation would enable a much wider understanding of the benefits of energy efficiency within the retail industry and would leverage much higher levels of investment.
“Through simplifying and harmonising policy, government could outline energy and legislative risks more clearly as well as highlight both the potential financing models available and the clear opportunities presented by energy efficiency.”
The BRC campaign is perfectly timed as the retail sector can build quickly on its impressive energy efficiency gains and this year, the government (whoever that may be after the general election) has to give its fullest support by simplifying – and promoting – policy.
Read the full campaign paper: http://www.brc.org.uk/brc_show_document.asp?id=4494&moid=8332