The study surveyed SMEs in business, professional, finance and property services and exposed a severe lack of knowledge of available cloud-related energy efficiencies that ultimately impact the bottom line. Cloud computing allows SMEs to only pay for the computing power they use with the ability to scale requirements up or down as needed – crucially without the need of additional physical servers. Energy savings are therefore inherent with the cloud as fewer machines equate to greater electricity savings. Yet despite the significant savings available with this technology, over a third (39%) of SMEs admitted to not even knowing what the cloud is. With the findings revealing 60% of SMEs are concerned by their energy expenditure, E.ON is on a mission to get British businesses energy fit by providing the tools and advice to better understand the amount of electricity they consume, how to cut bills and save energy. Revealing a lack of foresight when it comes to business growth, less than a third (30%) of SMEs consider the impact on energy costs when making business plans. Cloud knowledge by industry sector: SMEs in property services were the least knowledgeable regarding cloud computing, with only a quarter (25%) admitting to knowing what it is, compared to over three quarters (77%) of those in business services who were aware; Surprisingly SMEs in the finance sector are the least savvy when it comes to financial savings – a meagre 3% were aware they can save up to 90% on their IT energy footprint by moving their business into the cloud. Iain Walker, Head of Business Sales at E.ON, said: ‘Energy is a hot topic for UK SMEs and it’s clear they are unaware of the energy saving solutions available to them. By adopting cloud computing, small businesses are in a win-win situation, they will be able to improve their productivity through its flexible approach and will benefit from savings on their IT energy expenditure.’ Phil McCabe, Senior Policy Adviser at the Forum of Private Business, said: ‘As with other green technologies, it is important that business owners realise that embracing cloud computing can significantly reduce bottom line costs, as well as their energy footprint. ‘Using the internet rather than physical servers is a flexible and effective way of managing accounts and other paperwork, for example helping businesses to adhere to HM Revenue & Custom’s record-keeping guidelines, sidestepping the aggravation and cost of more traditional business accounting systems.’ E.ON recently announced a seven step plan to make energy easier for its SME customers, including new industry standards for business sales by energy brokers, better billing standards, pay-as-you-go smart meters and a customer panel to reflect the views of business, to ensure they receive the best possible service from their energy supplier. To find out more or to join E.ON’s new YourSay panel for business customers please visit: www.eonenergy.com/smepanel .