Many small businesses are missing out on crucial energy savings each year as a result of staff who refuse to take efficiency seriously, new research reveals.

According to a survey by energy company E.ON, only one in 10 staff believe that being energy efficient in the workplace is their responsibility,  with most simply “passing the buck” onto someone else.

Bosses are also failing to set a good example, with a quarter admitting that they rarely think about energy saving, and a further one in 10 taking no measures at all to be more energy efficient.

More than half of small businesses also have no guidelines on energy efficiency for staff to follow.

“We appreciate it’s often difficult to dedicate time to educating the workforce about energy saving, but the benefits of implementing better practice can be significant and directly beneficial to all employers,” E.ON’s head of business sales Iain Walker said.

“You’ll always get some people who are more active than others but I was quite surprised that the overall number of people taking personal responsibility for saving energy, and for passing on help to colleagues, is still relatively low.”

The Carbon Trust offers a wide range of energy-saving guides, as-well as downloadable posters and stickers to help small businesses, including retailers, improve their employees awareness of energy efficiency measures.