Article: Navigating the surge of high energy costs:
Sustainable futures for energy-intensive businesses


In an era where efficiency and sustainability are at the forefront of business strategies, high energy bills pose a significant challenge for businesses across the Black Country that may require them to reassess the way they run their businesses and financial strategies

Increased energy costs and the impact on energy-intensive businesses

Among the sectors most acutely affected by escalating energy prices, are energy-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, where energy directly affects their competitiveness in global supply chains and also hospitality and leisure businesses where energy is their highest cost after staff.

Recent studies reveal that some businesses are allocating up to 20% of their total expenditure to energy costs, a staggering figure that is likely to impede operational growth and erode profit margins. 

The implications of this surge extend beyond mere financial constraints, reaching into the core of production processes and the overall competitiveness of energy-dependent industries.

Manufacturing, as a prime example of an energy-intensive sector, faces the daunting task of balancing the imperative to cut costs with the need to maintain production levels. The specialist machinery and processes integral to manufacturing operations demand substantial energy inputs, making these industries exceptionally vulnerable to fluctuations in energy prices. 

As energy costs have soared businesses must grapple with tough decisions regarding investment in energy-efficient technologies, the exploration of alternative energy sources, or, in some cases, even scaling back production to mitigate the financial impact.

Navigating the challenges

To weather this storm, businesses are adopting multifaceted strategies that encompass both short-term and long-term solutions. In the short term, immediate measures such as energy conservation, process optimisation, and renegotiating energy contracts become imperative.

These measures not only alleviate the immediate financial strain but also lay the groundwork for sustainable practices that can endure future market fluctuations.

In the long term, a shift towards renewable energy sources and the integration of energy-efficient technologies emerge as critical components of a resilient business strategy. 

Investing in solar or other sustainable alternatives not only reduces reliance on traditional energy grids but also positions businesses as environmentally conscious entities, appealing to an increasingly carbon-conscious customer base.

Business energy assessments

A crucial tool is also available in the form of bespoke business energy assessments. Such assessments provide in depth energy insight, allowing businesses to scrutinise their energy usage patterns, identify inefficiencies, and pinpoint areas for improvement. By leveraging monitoring tools and analytics, businesses can gain a granular understanding of their energy consumption, enabling them to formulate targeted cost-saving strategies and make informed decisions. 

Moreover, done well, these assessments reveal opportunities for the integration of energy-efficient technologies, suggesting tailored solutions that contribute not only to financial relief but also to a sustainable, decarbonised, resilient future. 

In the face of high energy costs, that are likely here to stay, business energy assessments are a useful tool that can help guide businesses towards optimised energy usage and enhanced operational efficiency.

Discover the latest free energy assessments now available to SMEs and energy- intensive organisations across the Black Country on our Decarbonisation Net Zero Programme page.

Find out more:

  • Listen to the latest podcast from the Decarbonisation Net Zero Programme team featuring Black Country Industrial Cluster Director,  Matthew Rhodes.
  • Contact the team for more information: