Almost 80% of Dublin businesses say they're concerned about potential power outages this winter, according to a new survey by Dublin Chamber.

Energy remains the top concern for companies in the capital, the research shows.

A number of the businesses surveyed said that power outages would mean a "total inability to function" and for some, "increased carbon emissions due to dependence on generators".

When Dublin businesses were asked whether they could reduce their energy usage between the peak hours of 5-7pm, to lessen pressure on the grid, 57% said that they could, but as some noted "not without significant investment".

"Energy capacity and security is vital to the continued prosperity and growth of Dublin," said Aebhric McGibney, Dublin Chamber's Director of Public and International Affairs.

"Capital investment in upgrading infrastructure, expanding capacity and ensuring security of supply will need to be supported by Government," he said.

Dublin Chamber said it believes a "going green" tax credit is needed, along the lines of the R&D tax credit to help firms ackle the high levels of upfront capital investment and "long payback periods" required to reduce energy consumption.

In addition to these energy concerns, Dublin firms rank affordable housing and labour shortages as the most difficult challenges currently facing their business.

"We’re hearing from Dublin firms that housing is an issue in a league of its own, outpacing other current adversities significantly," said Mr McGibney said.

"This is partly due to its direct impact on the tightening labour market, as it squeezes potential hires out of the Greater Dublin Area due to the lack of affordable housing within a reasonable commuting distance," he added.

While more than half of Dublin businesses expect revenues to rise in the final quarter of this year, the survey findings show that expected profit trends signal cause for concern.

Dublin Chamber's Profit Expectations Index stands at 1, the lowest figure to appear on the index since 2020.

In stark contrast, the Operating Costs Expectations Index stands at 94, an increase of 13 points since the second quarter of this year.

"As 2022 draws to a close, Dublin firms continue to face challenges that are likely to spill into 2023," said Mr McGibney.

"Inflation, the energy crisis, affordable housing, skills and labour shortages continue to test the resilience and innovation of Dublin firms, that are still recovering from the impact of Covid-19.

"Despite these challenges, 2023 will no doubt offer opportunities for businesses to grow and evolve in equal measure," he added.