Inefficient technology, equipment and controls are being blamed for the energy bill overspend and restaurants, hotels and pubs & bars are being urged to consider financing options which give businesses funds to invest in energy-efficient equipment.
"Our analysis has shown that there is a huge market potential for energy savings from business investment in energy-efficient equipment, amounting to over £3.7bn per year across the country, and more than £180m in the hospitality sector alone," said Darren Riva, head of green financing of the EEF scheme.
"That potential energy saving covers heating, lighting, cooling and ventilation, amongst others," he added. The new analysis has been made by examining official sources and proprietary EEF data from a number of sectors.
Hospitality businesses are now being encouraged to look at investing in low energy lighting, energy-efficient motors, low-carbon air conditioning and biomass heating.
The EEF scheme - a joint financing initiative between the Carbon Trust and Siemens - was created to make energy-related financing more accessible and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Any business which has been trading for at least three years can apply for the scheme which is designed to match monthly payments with the equivalent savings from lower energy consumption.
Any business with at least 3 years trading history is able to apply for new green growth finance from the scheme, which is designed to match monthly payments with the equivalent savings from lower energy consumption
Myles McCarthy, managing director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services, said the figures should serve as a wake-up call to the hospitality industry about the potential savings they could make if they replaced some of their less energy-efficient pieces of equipment.
"Wise businesses that ensure their operations are using energy efficiently in these difficult economic times will reap huge benefits," he said.