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Renewable business energy explained

Choosing renewable energy can be an excellent way for businesses to help the environment and reduce their energy costs. In the UK, there is now a significant financial incentive for businesses to switch to or implement renewable energy sources.

The current options available to UK businesses are to either generate your own green electricity through solar panels or wind turbines, or to purchase this energy via a green energy supplier, some of which are not-for-profit organisations.

In This Guide:

What are the most common types of renewable energy?

Recent years have seen a rise in the number of green energy suppliers businesses can choose from that offer cheap business energy deals. Now it is even possible to buy your electricity through renewable-only energy tariffs.

The main types of renewable energy are wind, biomass, and solar energy.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is not only easily purchased throughout the UK, it is also the best financial option. Its affordability is mostly due to the ‘free’ nature of harnessing wind power through turbines or off-shore turbines. Wind farms can now be found throughout the UK and offshore wind farming is becoming increasingly common with advancements in drone technology.

Wind farms have been most successful in places that consistently get wind speeds of 7 metres per second.

Biomass Energy

Biomass energy is created from the “burning or fermenting of organic materials”, typically from woods such as bark or sawdust. While most people assume the majority of the UK’s renewable energy comes from wind or solar sources, biomass actually accounts for about 85%.

The payback time for biomass energy is about 5-12 years, a few years longer than wind energy. However, there is controversy concerning biomass energy when healthy trees are harvested instead of using free waste wood, which many claim is readily available and makes the entire process more affordable.

Solar Energy

Solar panels are used to convert sunlight into electricity and can be installed in roofs and glazing. While both electricity and heat can be gained through solar power, you will likely need additional energy supplies from a different source.

Solar panels are perhaps the easiest type of renewable energy for businesses to implement because they don’t require planning permission and can cut down on the cost of heating water.

How will renewable energy benefit my business?

Your business won’t suffer from using renewable energy. In fact, you could end up saving money by taking advantage of government schemes and relying on a more stable energy supply. The following are just a few of the benefits of green energy:

  • Subsidies

If you use green energy sources, there will be quite a few subsidies to take advantage of, such as the Feed in Tariff, the Renewables Obligation, and the Contracts for a Difference. All of these can greatly benefit businesses and offset the initial costs of switching to renewable energy.

  • Stable energy supply and costs

One of the greatest benefits of renewable energy is that it is a long term energy solution that won’t run out unlike fossil fuels that have a finite supply. The costs associated with renewable energy are also far more stable than other types of fuel which are subject to dramatic fluctuations.

  • No Climate Change Levy

When your business relies on renewable energy sources, it will be exempt from the Climate Change Levy.

  • Preparation for the future

There will continue to be more and more cheap business energy deals in the future for businesses that turn to renewable energy. Taking steps toward renewable energy sources now means future proofing your business for when regulations impose further restrictions on non-renewable energy consumption.

Signing with a green energy supplier is the best first step toward implementing green energy into your business. However, while these suppliers are required to source as much of their energy from renewable sources, it isn’t feasible for your entire energy supply to be green. Instead, it will be a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy.

In order to get a good quality fuel mix, you should compare business energy deals and find a plan that works for your business.