The business sector is the largest consumer of power in the country, buying around 56 per cent of all the UK’s electricity.
Research carried out by The Daily Telegraph and YouGov reveals that, of the 752 companies surveyed, a fifth spend more than £250,000 a year on energy, with the proportion even higher in the manufacturing (28pc) and hospitality (25pc) sectors.
At this level it is clear that even a modest switch to renewable power could take a big step towards the government’s target of securing 3pc of the UK’s electricity supply from renewables by 2020. And doing so could be very good for business.
A report from management consultancy Bain & Company, clearly shows that switching to renewable power is the quickest and most cost-effective way for most organisations to cut their carbon footprint. However, it can also make energy a profit centre.
Make Energy A Profit Centre
A business can now be an energy generator as well as a consumer. Self-generation of renewable power to cover a firm’s own needs and selling the surplus to the grid in effect makes energy a profit centre rather than a cost.
Thanks to a change in government guidelines, switching to renewable power can very quickly reduce a firm’s carbon footprint and its energy bills. Companies can now set the renewable power they buy against their carbon targets. Businesses generating their own renewable power may offset this against the number of allowances they are required to buy under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme.
It ensures energy security – Just ask Ikea
In its 2015 Financial Year Report IKEA reported that nearly 76% of the energy used in its 19 UK and Ireland stores came from renewable sources.
With solar panels on the roofs of 10 of its stores and ownership of two wind farms, IKEA is aiming for “100pc renewable energy – producing as much as we consume – by 2020”. This would give IKEA cost-free energy for its business and an income stream from any surplus they sell to the grid.
While the equipment to tap into solar, wind or other alternative energy sources isn’t free to install, prices are falling quickly, and the potential contribution towards shrinking energy bills and even profitability makes renewable power an attractive proposition that ticks all the boxes of corporate, social and civic responsibilities.
Being seen to invest and use renewable energy enhances corporate reputations and may save money by opening access to energy subsidies such as feed- in-tariffs. Such benefits should be hard to ignore.
If you would like advice on how to reduce your energy consumption and generate your own electricity then call us on 0161 330 7739 or complete our form