Logistics firms are wasting a fortune every year on inefficient warehouse facilities, a new report has shown.

Analysis from the Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme (EEF) has concluded that warehouses are overspending by as much as £190 million every year on their energy bills.

Inefficient equipment, technology and controls are thought to be among the root causes of waste across a range of sectors. While efforts are often made to ensure that office facilities are as efficient as possible, warehouses are more often overlooked.

Darren Rivam head of green financing at EEF, says that the report shows the “huge market potential” for energy savings made by investment in new, more efficient equipment. Including heating, lighting, cooling and ventilation as well as other uses, the savings could total £3.7 billion every year.

He added that since the financial crisis many logistics companies have struggled to gain access to credit at affordable rates, which has made it difficult to find the resources to invest in better efficiency.

High fuel prices also taking their toll on UK logistics and transport companies, making it increasingly difficult for them to compete with European rivals. According to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport with so many firms fighting to make ends meet, it is “alarming” that so much is being wasted on keeping distribution centres operational.

EEF is a joint initiative between Siemens and the Carbon Trust providing business finance for companies investing in more efficient equipment. It matches monthly repayments to the amount saved on energy bills to minimise the financial impact of investment on smaller firms. Any business which has been trading for more than three years is eligible to apply.

“These figures demonstrate the huge opportunity businesses have to save energy and cost,” says Myles McCarthy, managing director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services. “Wise businesses who ensure their operations are using energy efficiently in these difficult economic times will reap huge benefits.

“We're seeing increasing demand amongst businesses for us to help them get to grips with energy efficiency and capture the associated cost savings.”