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Would Competitor Information Help Reduce Energy Bills?

Would knowing how much energy your competitors use encourage you cut your bills?

A new report has found that households could cut their gas and electricity bills by £70 a year if they knew how much energy their neighbours used.

The ‘Smarter, Greener, Cheaper’ report by Policy Exchange found evidence that people cut the amount of energy they use when they can compare it to a more energy-efficient neighbour’s usage.

The think tank references a trial undertaken in Camden, in which the Local Authority cut the amount of gas used for its district heating system by 6% in 15 months by sending people bills which compared their energy use to that of people in a similar property and gave them energy-saving tips too.

The report doesn’t talk about business energy, but it seems possible that a similar scheme could work for businesses too. Benchmarking your energy usage against that of other businesses could prove interesting, as could the opportunity to swap ideas and best practice on energy saving.

However, in a business scenario, comparing yourself to your neighbour might not always work – for example, a travel agent could sit next to a launderette on the high street in very similar-sized premises, but their energy requirements would clearly be very different.

What would prove more interesting though is finding out how much energy other businesses in your sector are using. With energy prices rising, spending less than your competitors on energy could give you a competitive edge when it comes to pricing your products.

What do you think? Would seeing your competitor’s energy bill give you a kick to be more energy-efficient? Or is simply taking the lead and focusing on your consumption and energy spend a better way to put you in pole position against your rivals?

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