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Energy efficiency market buoyed by bulging order books

The UK energy efficiency market is currently buoyed by growing order books and increasing customer satisfaction.

The latest edition of the EEVS Insight report, compiled with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, reported high confidence from suppliers and consumers alike, with the report even finding a softening in the negativity towards government policy.

Of those suppliers surveyed for the report by EEVS, eight out of ten reported stable or increasing order books throughout Q1 2017.

And this was in spite of more than half considering that government energy efficiency policy proving to be ineffective at stimulating the market.

High energy efficiency lighting was once again the most popular technology for businesses to adopt. Smart metering systems were also significantly popular. Solar PV however recognised a marginal decrease compared to the prior year’s average, perhaps down to market uncertainty over potential increases in business rates.

There is further good news for the efficiency market however as median project valuations continued to climb, this quarter reaching a new high of ~£260,000, indicative of an increasing number of companies chasing more expensive improvements that offer more value for money.

Companies are also willing to accept longer payback periods than before, with the average payback period now extending to around four years and most companies willing to expect paybacks in excess of five years.

Matthew Farrow, executive director at the Environmental Industries Commission, said of the results: “The upbeat picture that emerges from the survey comes against a background of increasing political uncertainty, and taken together with the less downbeat view of government policy suggests a sector confident that the broad cross-party consensus on retaining UK climate change targets, and the basic economic case for energy efficiency, provide a good basis for continued sector growth.”

David Richards, chief customer officer at facilities management firm Bellrock, said the trends matched his company’s experience with clients, adding that smart metering and other internet of things-enabled technologies have been growing in demand as businesses look to improve their forecasting and manage costs.