Businesses could benefit from thousands of pounds of savings on their energy bill thanks to a new energy audit programme from NatWest  and RBS.
The audit programme, run in partnership with Mentor, RBS Group’s business consultancy service, has been rolled out across the UK from 27 January following a pilot in the north of England.
Over 60 businesses with an annual energy spend of between £10,000 and £200,000 a year took part in the pilot, achieving an average projected potential saving of £23,000. This includes annual savings on payments as well as potential refunds from overpaid energy bills.
Steve Arundale, head of professionals and financial services for commercial banking at NatWest and RBS, said: “We are committed to supporting a sustainable future for our customers, suppliers and communities.
“The audits look at the behaviours of businesses from helping them tackle the small things like encouraging staff to switch off lights and appliances, as well as implementing energy saving initiatives such as better insulation and equipment to regulate energy flow into buildings.”
A survey carried out by the bank at the end of 2013 showed that although 85% of businesses agree that the rise of energy costs is a concern, less than a quarter carry out regular reviews of their energy (every 7-12 months).
The research also showed that 96% of respondents were on the standard energy tariff, with only 11% generating their own energy through renewable technology.
Mr Arundale added: “Businesses could be spending more than required on energy, which is why we are rolling out the programme to all businesses across the UK and helping them to make more informed decisions about their energy use.
“Something as simple as checking your business is on the correct energy tariff could make a huge difference. We saved one of our manufacturing businesses over £11,000 by just switching them from the standard tariff.”
Audits look at three main areas of energy including efficiency and use, how businesses are buying their energy – are they on the correct tariff? – and whether there is an opportunity for them to produce their own energy through renewable technology. Audits aim to highlight immediate, medium and long-term opportunities for businesses, guidance on what to do next and estimated costs, savings and payback periods.
John Muncey, head of Mentor said: “Our energy auditors have been trained in energy management by the Energy Institute and are highly experienced in audit work. The RBS Mentor energy audits provide a range of benefits to businesses, which includes helping them to run their business more efficiently and save money, demonstrate green credentials when bidding for contracts, build a positive culture among employees and even increase their income.”