The importance of using renewable energy cannot be overemphasised. The future of the energy industry is pointing in this direction. There is good reason for industries to turn to renewable energy sources. After all, climate change is an issue that is becoming increasingly prominent in the world today, and this calls for a change in the way we use our resources and power our industries.
For its part, the British government has committed to source at least 15% of the country’s energy supply from renewable sources by 2020 through the establishment of policies that support the use of renewable electricity, transport fuels and use of solar panels.
Why Green Energy?
As mentioned above, the world is now in a state where we can no longer afford to turn away from environmental issues. Households, businesses and individuals alike are being urged to change the way they use resources in order to meet their needs.
Here are a few reasons for choosing green energy:
- Sustainable management is now an essential part of every business workflow. Businesses face operational and commercial risks because of climate change and instability of oil prices. Sustainability management looks at these risks and many businesses have found that one good strategy for minimizing them is opting for renewable energy sources.
- Choosing green energy is the ethical thing to do. As a business, you have an important role to play in your community—making sure that you’re helping reduce the problem of resource scarcity instead of adding to it is part of your responsibility.
- It builds up your customers’ confidence in you. As the spectre of climate change and scarcity of resources looms over the world, more and more consumers are pushing for businesses to take the green route. Showing your customers that you’re doing the right thing for the environment will encourage them to be loyal to your business and to take pride in being associated with you.
- It will save you money in the long run. The government offers incentives for businesses that use green energy. Tariffs for green energy are also competitive with those for standard energy. You’re also likely to save more on your energy bills, as you won’t be slapped with the Climate Change Levy that businesses using standard energy have to pay.
- It’s good for the economy. The renewable energy sector is growing steadily, and with the increased demand for it come much-needed jobs. The Pembina Institute reports that employment created from low impact renewable electricity would be comparable to, or greater than, that created by a fossil fuel based generation of the same level. There is employment potential in rural and remote locations and many of these jobs would be local, regional and small scale.
Investing in Green Energy
One of the reasons green energy is a viable option for businesses is the incentive given by the government for businesses and households that use renewable energy.
The first of its kind in the world, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a scheme that encourages the uptake of renewable heat technology through financial incentives. This is an attempt to make a significant contribution towards the UK’s goal to have 15 percent of its heating coming from renewable sources.
As a business, you can choose to have renewable energy systems such as solar panels installed on your company premises. Once accredited, a tariff level will be assigned to your installation based on its technology and size. You will receive payments based on the actual output of the system.
You will need to invest initially in having the installation put up, but this will pay itself off over the years in terms of the tariff payments and the savings you will make on your energy bills.
There are companies that will install energy generator systems for you for free—you will not get the tariff payments, but you will still save on your energy bills. Ecotricity, for instance, offers the Merchant Wind Power scheme to businesses that use over 1 GWh a year. The company builds and runs wind turbine systems on business sites for free, giving the businesses considerable savings on their energy bills.
If having solar panels or wind turbines installed is out of the question for you at the moment, you can still avail of green energy by choosing a green energy supplier. There are a number of suppliers in the UK who supply 100% renewable energy at competitive rates. Among these are Good Energy and the aforementioned Ecotricity.
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