Opportunities for all on the Path to Energy Independence
- 29% of respondents reported that energy price increases are currently affecting business profitability and growth
- 66% of companies surveyed have actively managed energy in a bid to make savings
- 50% of business respondents expect an increase to employee numbers in the next 12 months
- 86% of respondents report business confidence
Cork Chamber, the voice of business in Cork, has published its latest Economic Trends, proudly supported by Permanent TSB. Cork Chamber members shared their experiences through the most recent business quarter Q1 2022, and an environment where the case for bringing autonomy to Irish energy production was brought sharply to the fore as one of the knock-on impacts of the Russian invasion and tragic war in Ukraine.
Significantly in this first quarter of 2022, 29% of respondents reported that energy price increases are currently affecting business profitability and growth, 66% of companies surveyed have actively managed energy consumption in a bid to make savings and 82% of respondents agree that government should implement measures to help protect businesses from extreme cost pressures in the short term.
Commenting on the findings, Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber stated that, “Project Ireland 2040 envisages an additional one million people living in the State – there needs to be sufficient electricity or energy to support that growth. There is a clear opportunity to support the wide scale deployment of renewables and clean technology to develop a ready supply of energy and storage to meet growing demand in the supply chain. By gradually replacing natural gas with renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, a net-zero carbon gas network can be delivered to realise efficiencies and reduce emissions across a number of key sectors, including those that are traditionally difficult to decarbonise, such as Transport, Agriculture, Industry, Heating and Power Generation. Government must take steps now to enable Ireland’s energy independence and to instil confidence among the private investors who have the potential to deliver stable, sustainable energy for our nation.”
Anna Buckley, Business Banking Manager at Permanent TSB commented, ‘To overcome the rising cost of energy in the more immediate term, companies face a significant challenge to invest in energy efficiency and sustainable energy measures. These investments, however, will deliver benefits into the long term. Permanent TSB will do everything it can to support our business customers in tailoring our supports to respond to the top threats businesses currently face..
Ms Buckley continued, “Despite the challenges facing business in the last quarter, it is encouraging to see that business confidence remains high at 86%. This is a testament to the resilience, determination and ambition that exists in our business community.”
Paula Cogan concluded, “It appears the issue of energy is here to stay in a major way. It has implications of the highest order for business, society, the environment, democracy and Europe. Clean, cost-effective energy for communities, and businesses must move from ambition to reality. The private sector is ready to work with Government to make this happen. We should spare no effort in transforming our energy future while at the same time supporting a valuable and productive sector, climate goals and job creation”
View the full results of the Q1 2022 Economic Trends