Disconnect between manufacturers’ priorities and actions to address energy price volatility

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

UK manufacturers are worried about energy price volatility but aren't doing enough to mitigate it. Image: Getty, SBWorldphotography
UK manufacturers are worried about energy price volatility but aren't doing enough to mitigate it. Image: Getty, SBWorldphotography
UK manufacturers have failed to take crucial steps to mitigate fluctuations in energy prices, as new research by Mitsubishi Electric reveals a disconnect between the industry’s views and action taken on-site to address these concerns.

The study found that 91% of respondents were concerned about energy price security, but less than a quarter (24%) had a fully implemented on-site energy management system. What’s more, just 27% said they employed a dedicated energy manager.

Mitsubishi business development group manager David Bean said this demonstrated a clear disconnect between thought and action to resolve and acute, ongoing and worsening problem.

‘Eye-opening statistics’

“These statistics are not only eye-opening at face value, they need to be considered within the context of how energy pricing has changed in the past few years,”​ said Bean. “The sector is just coming out of one of the worst energy crises in modern memory, and the impact of this price volatility is yet to be fully felt.

“Despite the clear concerns about the effect of energy price security and grid resilience identified in this report, the industry has not yet taken crucial steps to mitigate further fluctuations. With costs now resembling something approaching ‘normal’, it is an ideal time for decision-makers to reconsider these energy strategies and address potential uncertainty.”

A similar disconnect was observed when respondents were asked about decarbonisation in their businesses. While 85% survey said working towards net zero was a key part of their nosiness, only 35% were currently implementing net zero within their operations.

‘Most pressing challenges’

“This report provides a much-needed snapshot of the manufacturing sector’s most pressing challenges, and underlines why decision-makers can no longer delay action,” ​Bean concluded. “However, the pressures and instability affecting the industry may have made businesses reluctant to do so.

“But by starting small and implementing new tools and technologies including energy management systems, site teams, senior managers can access meaningful data needed to make these necessary decisions. It doesn’t matter where you are on your energy journey, we can help businesses develop a roadmap to a greener and more resilient future.”

Meanwhile, after completing a trial with Volvo Trucks, Wyke Farms has put plans in place to transition to electric vehicle (EV) haulage over the next 18 months.

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