More than half of the small businesses that have undertaken an Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) audit have saved money, according to a UK Government survey.

Two-thirds of those firms saved more than £200 a year, the poll found.

The audits led to 80% of firms taking action, with two-thirds introducing energy efficiency measures.

The most-common step was to introduce energy-efficient lighting, followed by more efficient heating and improved insulation.

Only 9% have audited

But the survey found only 9% of small businesses have conducted an audit.

That compares to 69% of larger companies.

Only 4% of companies that haven’t conducted an audit had considered doing so.

Under the European Union Energy Efficiency Directive, any business with more than 250 staff, annual turnover in excess of €50 million (£39m) or a balance sheet worth more than €43m had to comply with the ESOS when it was introduced in 2015.

> Find out more about ESOS