Be Energy Efficient
Most of our energy currently is generated from fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. Using energy more efficiently reduces greenhouse gas emissions and minimises the amount of new renewable energy sources needed. Nearly a third of small businesses find the cost of energy a barrier to the growth and success of their business. Finding energy efficiency savings is the single best way of reducing these costs over the long-term.
Identify energy savings
The Devon Community Energy Partnership provides advice and support on energy efficiency for businesses. You can access their resources here.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change produced a guide for small and medium sized businesses looking to reduce their energy consumption. These ideas are relevant to all organisations. It covers everything from heating, lighting and equipment. The full guide can be accessed here.
Roll out energy efficiency projects
Developing a business case for energy efficiency projects is equally important. Zero Waste Scotland have a comprehensive guide to do so.
Use Renewable Energy
Renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar does not emit any carbon emissions when it is generated, unlike energy from fossil fuels such as gas.
Switch to a renewable supplier
There are many online services which help you switch to a ‘green tariff’ with all of the Big 6 energy companies now offering a green tariff. However, choose your supplier with caution as some are more ‘green’ than others. Some suppliers simply decrease the amount of renewable energy other clients receive so yours appears more ‘green’ when, in reality, you are not contributing to additional renewable energy capacity, they are simply making everyone else’s energy more ‘brown’.
For maximum benefit, we suggest you chose a supplier who can prove that all the renewable energy they sell is produced by themselves on sites which they own.
Have a look at this Which? article on “How Green Is Your Energy Tarriff?” or this article by the Energy Saving Trust which suggests some good suppliers.
Install your own renewable energy
Go one step further and install renewable energy, like solar photovoltaic panels, on your buildings. The Devon Community Energy Partnership is a great source of advice and guidance. Friendly, local energy advisors can help you understand what’s right for your building. Or take a look at these advice leaflets from the Centre for Sustainable Energy.
Find an installer in your local area here by selecting ‘Renewable Energy Services/Installations’ from the drop down list.