Private equity manager Calculus Capital has welcomed rare new real-time data from its investee corporate energy specialist Open Energy Market (OEM) that demonstrates how Britain is getting back to work as lockdown lifts.
Corporate energy consumption was down 40% at the peak of the Covid crisis but the latest figures (to 21st July) are only 8% below the level they were just prior to lockdown. There has been a sharp rise in the past two weeks as restrictions have relaxed and more people have returned to work.
OEM is a trading platform that enables a wide range of companies and organisations to forecast energy use and buy cost effectively. Taking consumption from an anonymised sample of 500 companies, across a wide spectrum of industries (from hospitality to manufacturing) and using a seven-day rolling average to smooth out the impact of weekends and public holidays, OEM has been able to chart the impact of Covid on the corporate sector on a like for like basis with the previous year.
Chris Maclean, CEO of OEM, said: “As you would expect, there was a sharp drop in consumption as organisations entered lockdown. Many companies with staff working from home or furloughed, still had some consumption – keeping lights on and servers running – but clearly not at anything like the same levels.
“The lowest point was the seven-day period ending 14th April – the Tuesday after the Easter weekend around the height of Covid-19 deaths and the peak of the crisis. That was 40% lower than levels at the beginning of the year and 60% lower than we recorded at the same time last year.
“We’re still 11% below this time last year and 8% below pre-lockdown peaks, but this is a rare real time indicator of the health of the UK economy and shows that Britain is in convalescence and recovering.”
Calculus Chief Executive John Glencross said: “These numbers support the anecdotal evidence we’re receiving from across the portfolio – things are picking up again. Several of our companies in the life sciences area have been incredibly busy during lockdown because they have joined the battle against Covid, helping in areas such as diagnostics and vaccinations.
“For others it’s been an understandably nervous time but confidence is returning, which is good for the economy and investors. These entrepreneurial companies will be at the heart of our recovery.”