The Office for National Statistics recently conducted its fortnightly Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) to over 39,000 UK businesses between 17 to 30 October 2022. The results are based on a limited number of responses —roughly 24.9% (9,740) of the businesses surveyed.
Businesses that had not permanently ceased operations were asked at the end of October 2022 what actions, if any, they had taken to reduce energy costs during the previous three months and what actions, if any, they planned to take to reduce their energy expenses in November 2022.
Two-fifths (40%) of businesses have taken some action to cut energy expenditures. In November 2022, a similar percentage (39%) intends to take action to reduce their energy costs.
By the end of October 2022, switching electrical equipment to standby or turning it off more frequently than normal while not in use, as well as moving to more energy-efficient electrical equipment, were the most popular activities businesses had taken to lower energy spending.
The percentage of businesses choosing these options was highest in the human health and social work activities industry (40%) and manufacturing (22%), respectively.
The majority of businesses that had taken some kind of effort to reduce their energy expenses were found to be in the accommodation and food service activities industry, at 59%.
Switching electrical equipment to standby or turning it off more frequently than normal when not in use was the most frequent action businesses in this industry reported taking, at 32%.
The second most frequent action made by businesses in this industry was to cut back on the number of hours the business trades in a week while maintaining the number of days the business trades in a week, which was reported by nearly one in five (19%) businesses. Looking ahead to November 2022, 19% of businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry reported that they intend to do the same.
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