The disadvantages of using fossil fuels have become more apparent over the past century. Not only are they a finite source of energy, but they’re also harming the environment, due to the release of greenhouse gases. The need for developing renewable energy sources is far greater now, as fossil fuels will be depleted in the next 50 to 60 years.

UK businesses consume 56% of the UK’s energy. If more businesses switch to renewables, a significant difference could be made to the environment. Plus, for businesses, green energy has other benefits. As well as being the quickest way to cut your carbon footprint, or becoming carbon neutral, renewable energy can be a very cost-effective option – you can get paid for going green.

Financial incentives for going green

Feed-in Tariffs (FIT)

Another government scheme created to promote the uptake of renewable energy. For both homes and businesses, with eligible installations including solar PV, wind and hydro. Under the scheme, participating electricity suppliers are required to pay eligible generators and exporters.

Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme that has been set up to incentivise businesses to switch to renewable heat.

An eligible system will entitle you to quarterly payments over the course of 20 years.

Similar to RHI, payments are usually made quarterly, from the date your business becomes eligible, for the electricity your installation has produced or exported and are based on meter readings.

> Compare business energy prices

Renewable Energy Sources

Solar Panels

If you own your business premises or have a long-term lease in place, installing solar panels could be an option.

One of the main benefits is the ability to produce free, green electricity for use at your site, meaning that you require less energy from the grid during daytime hours. Savings can equal thousands a year (depending on your normal bill).

Biomass

Biomass energy accounts for around 85% of the country’s renewable energy and is the burning or fermentation of organic material, such as straw, wood or other crops.

As well as on a national scale, biomass systems can also be installed in a business. Common installations include stove burners for heating rooms, connected with back boilers for heating water.

Although the initial installation can be costly. with around £800 available per year in savings, it should eventually even out.

Green Energy suppliers

If your business does not own or long-term lease its premises but you still want to cut your carbon footprint, switching to a green energy supplier might be the best option for you.

Squeaky one supplier which provide electricity through entirely renewable sources. Its platform allows businesses to purchase from generators in a cost-effective way, delivering a better deal for both parties.

All its electricity supply contracts are secured through Europe’s largest renewable generator, so it will only ever provide power from 100% clean sources. Importantly, prices are very similar to regular suppliers.

Save money and cut your carbon footprint

Whether the aim is to cut your carbon footprint, to save money or both, renewable energy is one of the key ways to help your business achieve its goals.

Further reading on Renewable energy

> How can a small business improve energy efficiency?

> How to secure lower small business energy bills

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