Just one in every five small and medium sized businesses here thinks they have done all they can to reduce their energy usage.

That’s according to research carried out by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, which also found that lack of time and funding are the biggest obstacles to more energy action by small and medium sized enterprises.

A majority of such SMEs do believe, however, that they have a role in tackling climate change, the survey found.

Although up to a quarter of organisations are not interested in energy efficiency or have not investigated energy efficiency options at all.

Among the top actions that small firms have taken to reduce their energy usage are the installation of energy saving lighting and switching energy providers.

The research was carried out ahead of the opening today of the two day SEAI Energy Show at the RDS in Dublin.

"It is worrying when up to a quarter of survey respondents say they are simply not interested in or have not investigated the opportunities to be more energy efficient," said Jim Gannon, CEO of SEAI.

"All businesses, large and small, have a role in decarbonising our expanding economy. And frankly that means actually reducing energy use rather than just switching energy providers for short term tariff savings."

This year’s show features 150 exhibitors who will be showcasing the latest energy saving and renewable energy technologies and services.

20 expert seminars and workshops will also be taking place during the annual two-day event.

The survey also found that around 62% of organisations use simple or discounted payback as their key performance indicators for assessing energy efficiency opportunities, with 20% focused on return on investment.

Most respondents who use payback to evaluate investments generally expect a payback period of 5 years or less, the research found.