The overall manufacturing sector could save £2.5bn by investing time and money in energy efficiency measures, negotiating longer contracts with energy suppliers and self-generation, according to the report Powering On: Energy Resilience in UK Manufacturing. If all manufacturers became as energy efficient as the sector leaders, the industry could increase its value by 5.1% to £160bn, claimed the report.
Food manufacturers needed to change their attitude toward energy technology to claim the rewards, Barclays told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
‘Increased productivity and resilience’
A Barclays spokeswoman said: “As one of the most energy intensive subsectors, food and drink manufacturers could benefit from the increased productivity, lower energy consumption and increased resilience to energy risk that would come from investing in energy technology.
“In order to reap the benefits, our model requires ‘mainstreaming’ investment and attitudes towards energy technology from sector leaders, until it becomes business-as-usual for the entire sector. This will require a mixture of investment, leadership commitment and skills sharing within the food and drink manufacturing sector.”
Over half of UK manufacturers expected energy shortages over the next decade, the survey revealed – which featured 58 food and drink manufacturers. Almost half expected energy price hikes in 2017.
Energy costs after the Brexit vote
Almost a third were more concerned about energy costs after the Brexit vote, the report revealed. About 47% of manufacturers claimed to be vulnerable to the effects of price rises.
Barclays head of manufacturing, transport and logistics Mike Rigby said: “Energy resilience and costs are vital considerations for UK manufacturers and are a critical element of our manufacturing sector’s ability to compete internationally.
“In recent months, attention has focused on the future of energy supply but we need to look at all aspects of energy. By considering energy management on the demand side in intensive sectors such as manufacturing, we can ensure the UK remains competitive.”
Meanwhile, energy efficiency consultancy Inprova Energy claimed food and drink manufacturers had opportunities to save energy by between five and 20%.
Barclays manufacturers energy investment report – at a glance
- 27% more concerned about energy since January 2016
- 46% expect price hikes in 2017
- Industry could save £2.5bn by investing time and money into energy saving techniques