Businesses are hampered by an unreliable electricity supply according to a survey of more than 1,000 business leaders published today by British Chambers of Commerce and Drax.

One third (33%) of UK businesses have experienced electricity outages in past 12 months, according to a study of the business community’s views on infrastructure and risk.

With demands on energy set to intensify in the years ahead – more than one-quarter (27%) expect their dependence on electricity to increase – better support is needed to help businesses make the transition to clean energy and improved energy efficiency.  Manufacturing in particular is expected to face higher demand, with 34% of manufacturers expecting their dependence on electricity to increase.

By contrast, fewer than one in ten (8%) of businesses experienced water outages, and only 2% experienced gas outages.

The research shows that business is already taking steps to reduce waste and emissions, with the most-adopted measures over the last twelve months being increased recycling (61%), installing LED lighting (54%) and reducing paper consumption (49%).

BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “Our message to policy makers couldn’t be clearer: work with us in business to fix Britain’s energy infrastructure and ensure it’s fit for the future.

“Access to affordable and reliable energy is critical for businesses. It’s unacceptable that many companies are facing power cuts and interruption to supply, which can damage machinery and leave employees unable to do their jobs.”

“Reliance on electricity is set to increase across the economy as we move away from fossil fuel use. Electricity providers, industry, regulators and government must work together to accelerate improvements in generation and supply — with a firm eye on our shared goal of net zero carbon emissions.”


  1. If your business relies on continuity of electricity to power any critical electronic equipment during a power
    outage then you should invest in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The cost of this investment will be
    repaid in the long term by avoiding loss of business and possible damage to critical equipment.

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