Embracing the opportunity to support green energy is something all business should strongly consider. The environmental benefits should always be the primary driver in making the decision to “go green” but there are other factors to consider: How does it look to your customers if your competitors are taking that step and you are being left behind? Are you putting yourself at an instant disadvantage in an already competitive environment?
What is considered “green” energy?
Green energy encompasses energy won from natural, renewable resources. While fossil fuels like oil, gas or coal are finite – it took millions of years for our current fossil fuel resources to develop – and diminish with use, renewable energy sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, or geothermal heat, are pretty much endless and not used up in the energy generation process, or, in the case of certain plants, manure, or algae, are relatively easy to regenerate.
All energy suppliers get a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources. However, what energy suppliers regard as a “green” tariff varies quite significantly. Except for those businesses that generate their own electricity, every business is supplied with electricity through the national grid; and it is impossible to draw only electricity from the national grid that has been generated from renewable resources. Being on a green tariff therefore usually means that your supplier instead commits to feeding an amount of green energy equivalent to your consumption back into the national grid. Some suppliers produce this green energy themselves, however most will buy it from a green energy generator.
Is this going to raise my energy bill?
Making your next energy contract a green one may not be as expensive as you think. The margin between brown energy and green energy has reduced significantly in the last 12 months to a point where the difference is only around 0.2 pence per kWh on average. If you also factor in that you can remove you Climate Change Levy charge from you bill surely that is a small price to pay to be able to proudly state you are a green energy user?
What if want to go beyond “just” having a green tariff?
Striving to go green doesn’t just stop at procurement, there are many steps you can take that can not only reduce you carbon foot print but also reduce your bill. If you are not monitoring your consumption and using the information gathered to reduce your usage then you could be doing more. Installing a smart meter and working with experts that can help you identify where and when you are wasting energy can save you a lot of money and put your conscience at ease.
Once you are being supplied by green energy and are keeping your usage down, the next logical step is to generate your own energy. Technologies are moving fast and solutions that were once restricted to businesses with deep pockets are far more readily available. These technologies do require an initial investment which can vary greatly on the solution that works for you, but the payback periods can also be very appealing.
Businesses like hotels or farms, that are located in rural locations and lack mains gas supply, can often benefit from looking at scope to generate their own energy. Traditionally, people thought mainly of solar, wind and hydro; but there are an array of green technologies now including biomass, Combined Heat & Power (CHP) and heat pumps. With such businesses becoming more energy efficient and the cost of battery storage dropping year on year, there will be increased scope for them to go off grid in the next decade, and promoting their green credentials as consumers increasingly become more focused on companies as Good Citizens.
If you would like to talk to us about the green energy tariffs we offer, or would like advice on energy monitoring or renewable energy generation solutions, please get in contact!