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Guide to green energy tariffs for businesses
Businesses across the UK are looking for ways to become greener. Sustainable operating practices help to demonstrate you are doing your bit to combat climate change. Not only that, but becoming greener can reduce your business operating costs. This can save you money and increase your profits.
Green energy tariffs are growing more popular. We get a lot of queries every day from companies interested to learn more about them. This guide explains what green commercial tariffs are, and what they can do for your business.
What is a green commercial energy tariff?
A green commercial energy tariff guarantees that 100% of the electricity your business uses is matched with renewable energy generated by your energy supplier. You may assume that with a green energy tariff all the electricity you use will be from a renewable source. But this is not guaranteed.
Are all green energy tariffs the same?
Which? Has been looking at the issue of whether all green energy tariffs are truly green. The bad news is that some are not quite as they appear to be.
Ofgem rules state that energy providers can buy certificates that allow them to claim the tariffs they provide are green. These certificates, Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, are bought from renewable energy providers. They can give consumers the impression that the energy they are receiving is 100% renewable. But suppliers are not obligated to buy directly from renewable generators or generate renewable energy themselves. These types of tariffs should be avoided if you are keen to support the renewable energy sector.
You can check on your energy supplier’s website if you’re unsure of their terms. If you switch with us, we can let you know.
What is green energy, and why does it matter?
The electricity we use in our homes and businesses comes from the National Grid. Historically, most of that electricity has been generated by non-renewable sources such as coal and gas. These sources of energy are known as fossil fuels. They cause pollution, including greenhouse gases which enter the atmosphere. Scientists say that these compounds trap infrared radiation and are contributing to climate change.
The alternative is green energy.
In 2020, a majority of UK electricity was produced from renewable sources for the first time. Renewable energy includes ‘clean’ energy sources like solar, wind and hydroelectric power. They are sustainable sources because, unlike coal and gas, they do not rely on finite resources to work. Many energy companies have now invested in renewable energy.
Some companies choose to produce their own green energy. This can be done by investing in solar panels, or a wind turbine.
Why the big switch? There is a lot of encouragement from the UK government who aim for the country to be carbon neutral by 2050. Plus, many consumers report being increasingly mindful of sustainability issues. As many as 50% of customers say they would prefer to use a ‘green’ company. So demonstrating your green credentials is good for business.
Which companies offer green business energy contracts?
In the last few years, all the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers have begun to offer green commercial energy tariffs. The ‘Big Six’ – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – don’t offer to every business as standard though. Most tariffs are for smaller businesses.
Recently, many of the cheapest business green energy tariffs have come from independent energy suppliers. At the time of writing, such contracts are available from:
- Good Energy;
- Green Energy UK;
- Octopus Energy;
- OVO Energy;
- Total Gas & Power.
However, new deals are launching all the time. The best way to find the cheapest and most relevant tariffs is to compare business energy deals.
What are the benefits of a green energy tariff?
Green energy tariffs are regarded as being better for the environment. The more customers switch to green energy tariffs, the greater the demand. This results in more renewable energy being supplier to the National Grid.
Many green energy tariffs are cheaper than standard variable tariffs from the ‘Big 6’ energy companies. That means switching to a green energy tariff may well save your business money on energy bills.
How else can my business become greener?
If you have space and can invest, you could consider generating your own energy. Options vary depending on your budget and the size of your premises. Using your own energy can reduce your energy bills as well as future-proofing your business from future rises in gas and electricity prices.
You will need to consult with professionals to discuss the options for your premises. In most cases, you will need planning permission before you can proceed.
Solar panels are the most popular option for self-generation. They are simple to install, and commercial properties can receive government assistance for new solar panels. You can use solar panels to produce electricity or heat hot water.
Another option is biomass heating. They require more space to install than a central heating system. They use wood pellets, rather than gas, to heat your premises.
If you have a large property, you may be able to consider a wind turbine. Depending on your business’ energy usage you may find you don’t have space for an adequate turbine size. They are more expensive than solar panels, with prices starting from around £10,000.
Finally, ground source or air heat pumps could be worth considering. These systems work by circulating heat around your building. They require an outbuilding next to your office or other commercial space.
Start your switch to a green business energy tariff today
If you’re ready to make the switch to green business energy, you can find a range of great tariff options with Business Electricity Prices.
All we need is your business address and a few contact details. We will then search our wide panel of trusted suppliers to offer the best possible energy deals.
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