How do SMEs affect the energy industry?

Article posted

25th Aug 2023

Read time

4-8 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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Small to medium-sized enterprises make up a large portion of UK businesses. They represent 50% of the UK’s business turnover. 99% of companies across the UK are classed as SMEs. Because of this, they have become a crucial part of the country's economy. Small and medium companies will continue to help in the future development of the UK energy market.  

SMEs exist in all industries across the UK, with some being more energy-intensive than others, depending on the types of business.

Business energy is a struggle for industries and businesses of all sizes. However, small businesses and SMEs are more vulnerable to changes within the energy industry.

Is your business classed as an SME?

A small to medium-sized enterprise can cover a large range of business types. Your business will be considered an SME if you have:

  • Under 250 employees
  • An annual turnover of less than £50 million.

Other businesses also fit into the SME category:

  • Micro businesses - less than 10 employees with an annual turnover under £2 million
  • Small businesses- less than 50 employees with an annual turnover under £10 million
  • Medium-sized businesses- less than 250 employees with an annual turnover under £250 million

SMEs within the primary sector

As we mentioned SMEs are found in all sectors and industries across the UK. A lot of SMEs in the primary sector will affect the energy industry. For example, mining and utilities aid in the energy production stage. Estimates suggest that around 1-2% of SMEs in the UK contribute to the energy sector.

SMEs exist in the oil, gas, and even renewable industries. The businesses within this sector need to be protected and invested in or without them, energy production couldn't happen.


SMEs within other industries

As we mentioned before SMEs make up the largest proportion of UK businesses. Therefore, the way they run their businesses and use energy is going to massively influence the energy industry.  

SMEs are going to be key in the UK energy transition. Shifting from fossil fuels towards net zero is going to take a lot for the country to do. The energy industry needs all businesses on board to be able to reach their goals.

Small businesses are better connected to their customers, allowing them to make innovative changes based on customer wants and needs.

As more people care about sustainability, smaller businesses want it to be one of their main values. The energy industry will face pressure to change with this shift in business perspective.  


How can your smaller business impact the energy industry?


Change within the business

SMEs need to be sustainable to meet customer demands and help the country achieve net zero emissions by the government's deadline. Making necessary perspective changes within your business planning to ensure your company achieves this goal is important.

Energy-efficient changes can also be small to start with such as:

  • Using less paper where it's not necessary
  • Ensuring equipment and lights are always turned off
  • Using less energy where you can
  • Insulate your building to make sure you use less heat

Your workforce

Ensuring your employees are on board with your sustainability plans is imperative to make it work. No real business change can happen unless the whole company is on board with the changes.  Employees might require extra training or plans put in place to ensure everyone knows how to be sustainable.


Changes in operations and equipment 

You can make changes in business operations and procedures to ensure you reduce carbon whilst staying within budget. By increasing the amount of energy innovative technology you have, the less energy you will need to run your business. some examples are :

  • Solar panels
  • Voltage optimisers
  • EVs and charging points
  • Sustainable heating and cooling

See our energy-saving blog to get other ideas of how your business can ensure you bring a positive impact to your business and the energy industry.


SMEs still overpaying for energy

Small and medium-sized businesses will lead the change in the energy sector. However, many of them still pay too much and struggle with high prices.

Last year, smaller businesses signed expensive energy contracts with high unit rates due to the peak in wholesale energy prices. Many businesses are still stuck paying higher unit rates after signing during price hikes in 2022.

Small businesses struggle to invest in sustainability because they have to spend more on energy, leaving little money for energy efficiency.

If you're looking to save money on your energy bills then why not get in touch today? The relationships Resolve Energy has developed with over 24 of the UK’s biggest business energy suppliers allows our energy experts to source the best business energy rates available for your company right when you need them. Request a free quote today and start saving money on your energy.

Looking to pay less on your energy bills?

Get a free quote today