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< Back to news 03 January, 2009

With power comes responsibility

With power comes responsibility
More and more businesses are becoming aware of their responsibility to develop and use greener methods of operating, but hospitality-purchasing consortium, Beacon, has found out more and more are asking: `how?`

A survey to assess hospitality business` views on green issues around the UK, has discovered those responsible to look after the environment but aren`t too sure how to go about it. However, Beacon, the hospitality-purchasing consortium that conducted the survey, can help.

Their investigations found that almost an equal measure of those who believe they have responsibility, still find the issue of energy conservation confusing.. 97% of those surveyed, which includes hotels, bars, golf clubs and leisure organisations said they have a responsibility, as a business, to consider environmental and social issues.

At the same time, 82% felt confused about the energy market and how energy prices are structured. Issues such as carbon tax and energy prices were some of the main dilemmas that companies faced, with half of all businesses believing that carbon tax would be damaging to the hospitality industry.

The proposed carbon tax would be a levy on business based on the amount of emmisions they release. It could also apply to other greenhouse gases. The money raised from the tax could be used to research and develop low-carbon technologies and clean energy, the aim being polluters would be encouraged to reduce their emissions.

The energy market is less cut and dry than carbon tax. Gas prices are linked to oil prices, which have been high in recent years, influencing the European and UK wholesale gas market. British energy suppliers say they have had to increase bills because of wholesale rises and despite those prices now dropping, suppliers say they cannot yet pass this on to customers because they paid in advance for the winter supply. The wholesale gas market can also affect electricity bills, as 39% of the UK`s electricity is generated from gas.

Beacon`s survey found that around one quarter of the companies questioned were unaware of the financial advantages of wholesale energy production, a scheme offered by Beacon. Businesses can get the best out of purchasing energy and making the most of energy experts and their experience through the scheme, rather than having to deal with fluctuating prices. Members of Beacon can now benefit from having their electricity and gas requirements taken from a much larger, £800million basket of energy bought by Beacon`s nominated energy supplier, Inenco, and benefit from the cost savings usually reserved for larger suppliers who spend over £1 million or more.

As well as wholesale energy, Beacon also offers other energy saving solutions such as recycling services and consumption reduction programmes. Also, members can benefit from free energy advice aimed specifically at businesses in the form of a leaflet which explains the wholesale buying process in detail and can be downloaded from the Beacon website at

Chris Arnold, Head of Purchasing and Operations and Beacon, said: "It is encouraging to see the hospitality industry taking an interest, and taking responsibility for the environment - as we should. However, it seems a shame that such a large majority feel confused about the energy market and how they can do their bit.

"Energy prices can be extremely high, so it is essential that energy saving tips and the complexities of the energy market are explained to everyone.