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Survey shows SME business owners not afraid of the dark

With Halloween just around the corner, a British Gas Business survey has found that a huge majority of small and medium sized business owners aren’t afraid of the lights being turned out in a power cut. British Gas’ business arm compiled the results from 500 people with responsibility for gas and electricity as well as boilers and heating systems at SME business premises. Just 17 per cent of SME owners and senior managers who responded to the survey believed that power loss to be a major risk to their business. Although respondents were more concerned about power cuts than data security issues and staff absences, on the whole it seems that SME managers and owners are generally apathetic towards the risk of electricity and heating loss. If Britain suffers through another difficult winter either on the supply side or on the demand side, then the threat of power loss could become a lot more real in people’s minds.


Senior managers at some of the smallest businesses claimed that they had lost, on average, about two working days from loss of power or gas in the last five years. Some slightly larger businesses claimed they had lost more, but these figures could rise significantly if we have a troubling winter this year. And only one fifth reported that they have testing procedures in place to help mitigate the risks associated with heating and electricity loss. British Gas Business claim that the results show that businesses need to take the risk of energy failure more seriously, and begin taking steps to avert on-site failures like boiler breakdowns. The survey indicated that 41 per cent of senior managers failed to carry out an annual service of appliances while 72 per cent of firms with fewer than 10 employees had no maintenance plan whatsoever.


James Bennett, Managing Director of Business Services at British Gas Business said: “With winter fast approaching, now is the time for small businesses to make sure they have well maintained heating and hot water systems. Companies with annual servicing or maintenance plans in place are better positioned to focus their time on creating revenues and growth.” Managing Director of Utility Helpline, Richard Bonelle said: “SME managers aren’t that concerned about power failure and that’s probably because power failures aren’t that common – or at least they haven’t been that common for some time now. That could change pretty soon though. If we have a particularly bad winter, either on the demand side or the supply side then UK SMEs could be about to lose a lot more days to power failure.”

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )