The business sector is the biggest consumer of power in Britain, purchasing approximately 56% from some 40 or so different energy suppliers and surpassing the energy consumption of domestic consumers. The government’s target by 2020 of 3% of our power usage coming from renewable sources means even a modest move in that direction by businesses will go a long way towards achieving the target.
Not only is adopting renewable forms of energy a healthier option by reducing the carbon footprint, but should also prove cost-effective in the long-run, helping companies to reach investor’s sustainability criteria.
The energy companies can also reap profit by balancing renewable power against their carbon targets. ‘The Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme’ requires companies to purchase allowances which they will be able to offset against costs if they are using or generating their own renewable power. It is expected that governments across Europe will soon be offering renewable energy subsidies.
Significant savings generated by using renewable energy
The switch from standard to renewable energy is not an expensive procedure adding less than 1% to existing bills but providing long-term benefits that easily outweigh the small added cost.
We are not discussing small savings here. For example, Marks and Spencer’s managed to improve its energy efficiency by 34% per square foot, enabling them to save over £22 million in eight years. Unilever states that it has saved more than £280m since 2008 by implementing eco-friendly measures. IKEA reported in 2015 that 76% of the energy used in its British stores came from renewable sources. Even giant utilities like Xcel Energy understand the financial benefits of renewable energy.
“Without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard, strictly on an economic basis, renewable energy is cost-effective and economical,” said Xcel’s CEO David Eves
The big energy suppliers are also concentrating on the future and setting up systems to function with renewable energy in mind. For example, E.ON’s energy can be managed through a digital interface, allowing for unused energy to be sold back to the grid. They also operate a 1MW biogas heat and power (CHP) plant together with farmers.
Initial equipment to integrate into solar, wind or alternative energy sources can be expensive, but like a lot of new technology the prices are likely to drop, making renewable technology an even more attractive proposition.
Corporate social responsibility
Adopting greener forms of energy also aids corporate social responsibility, as being seen to be environmentally friendly yields commercial benefits. It builds investor confidence and supports company valuations. People are shown to support companies that have a green responsibility and are more likely to trust them with custom, as well as recommend them to others.
Being seen to use renewable energy builds corporate reputations. Internally within a business, being green can stimulate your workforce and give you better profits. According to the Carbon Trust, investing 2% of your energy spent on an employee energy-saving campaign can save up to 10% of your energy bill.
Helping save the planet from demise
Solar energy wind energy, tidal energy and geothermal energy are inexhaustible, and won’t pollute the planet, not only for us but future generations. Prices for fossil fuels are increasing as their supplies become exhausted, but prices of alternative energies have steadily gone down, as products and services have become more accessible.
In short, companies which use renewable forms of energy are taking a responsible step in helping save our planet from an otherwise inevitable demise. The future of our planet looks brighter if we work together to harness all the natural, non-expendable resources we have all around us.
This blog post was written by Caplor Energy, experts in award-winning design, installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.