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83% of small businesses unconcerned by risk of power loss

  • SME survey shows a degree of complacency amongst businesses around loss of energy supply ahead of winter 
  • One in six senior managers says loss of energy supply is a greater business risk than security issues or staff leaving   
  • Only a fifth of SMEs have testing procedures to mitigate the risk of heating or hot water loss 

New research from British Gas Business shows that a worrying number of Britain's small to medium-sized (SME) businesses do not consider loss of energy supply to be a major risk to their business. 

Only 17% believe this to be a threat to their business; although they do perceive it to be a greater risk than data security issues (15%) and high rates of staff absence (7%). 

On average, senior managers in small businesses claim that their company has lost two working days due to a loss of electricity or gas in the last five years. Businesses which employ between 100-249 employees claim they lost an average of three working days in the last five years. This rises to six days for companies with an annual turnover between £50m and £100m. 

The survey was carried out amongst more than 500 small to medium-sized business owners and senior managers with responsibility for gas and electricity as well as boilers and heating systems at their commercial premises. 

British Gas Business says the poll shows that many companies need to take action now to help reduce the risk of losing heating or hot water this winter. 

The survey showed that only a fifth of small businesses had testing procedures in place to help reduce the risk of losing heating or hot water. 41% of senior managers neglect to carry out an annual service of their appliances like boilers. The proportion rises to 45% in companies with fewer than ten employees. Almost three quarters (72%) of companies with fewer than 10 employees have no maintenance plan in place.

James Bennett, Managing Director of Business Services at British Gas, 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.” 

British Gas Business services gas appliances and systems for more than 20,000 SMEs across Britain. It’s a legal requirement for employers to ensure that their gas appliances, gas pipework and flues are maintained in a safe condition. 

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Notes to editors

About British Gas Business 
British Gas is the UK’s largest provider of non-domestic gas and electricity, supplying around 400,000 customers through more than 700,000 electricity and gas supply points. Visit the website: for further information. 

About the research 
The research was carried out online by Censuswide between 25 August and 01 September 2016. The sample includes more than 500 SME senior managers and those with responsibility for energy. All respondents also have gas boilers and heating systems on their business premises.  

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at

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