A new survey suggests that the vast majority of SMEs want their energy supplier to be more committed to renewable energy, with nearly a quarter willing to switch to get 100 per cent clean energy.
The survey, commissioned by energy supplier Haven Power, interviewed decision makers from 100 SMEs across a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, retail, distribution, transport, IT, and financial and professional services.
While 72 per cent said they would like energy suppliers to be more committed to renewables, only 11 per cent rated their current supplier as ‘excellent’ for renewable energy support and options.
Offering renewable electricity was seen as the most important factor to stimulate a switch in supplier, after price and quality of service.
More than one in five (22 per cent) told researchers that they would stay late at work to switch suppliers if they could purchase a completely clean energy product. For larger SMEs with between 101-250 employees, the figure rises to 28 per cent.
Businesses in the digital sector were most likely to switch, with 80 per cent agreeing that they would like their energy supplier to support renewable energy.
In addition, over a quarter (26 per cent) reported that they would like support and advice from their supplier on how to be more energy efficient. This was seen as particularly important for the manufacturing sector, with 50 per cent of manufacturing respondents saying this was a key priority.
The responses also showed a general level of dissatisfaction with energy suppliers amongst SMEs.
Jonathan Kini, chief executive of Haven Power, said: “SMEs want more from their supplier and a commitment to renewable energy is one of the demands they are pushing for. This suggests there is some fundamental change happening.
“The fact that only 21 per cent of respondents believe their supplier is completely committed to renewable energy and almost a third saying their supplier is either not very committed or they are not sure they have a renewable option shows a huge gap in the market.”
A separate report published earlier in 2016 suggested that businesses could be damaging their competitiveness by not switching to an energy supplier offering renewable electricity.
According to the report, switching to renewable power is the quickest and most cost-effective way for a business to cut its carbon footprint, which is an increasingly important factor for many supply chains.