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Big Business Shows Small Firms Advantages of Green Energy

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Small businesses are being encouraged to switch to green energy after Google and Apple announced plans to reach a 100% renewable energy target as part of RE100.

RE100 is a global collaborative initiative of 83 of the world’s most influential companies. As well as Google and Apple, its partners include IKEA, Adobe, and Diageo. All of them are committed to increasing demand for, and delivery of, 100% renewable power – and influencing others to follow their lead.

Growing business case for green energy

There are compelling business and environmental reasons why small businesses should join this growing green energy wave, says UK energy and water consultancy Utilitywise.

“Switching to renewable tariffs is the biggest and easiest step small firms can take to show their commitment to the environment. You just switch to green energy and that’s it,” said Marketing Manager Tony Hitchens from Utilitywise.

“Other benefits include the huge dent renewable tariffs make in your company’s carbon footprint. It sends a strong message to customers that you care about the environment. Going green helps smaller firms to save money by becoming more efficient and makes it easier to win new business. To win public-sector contracts, for example, you must meet certain environmental prerequisites.”

Reduce consumption for double benefits

Look deeply at the business actions that the RE100 companies have taken and you’ll see they are not switching to renewables in isolation. They recognise the importance of reducing energy and water use alongside green energy deals, to provide a powerful double whammy of benefits for the environment and business.

Utilitywise’s Long-Term Forecast shows that, in the next five years, electricity costs will increase by nearly 40%. But with a little time and effort SMEs can start to make savings now.

There are plenty of actions small firms can take immediately, from encouraging employees to switch off items not in use to changing to energy efficient lightbulbs.

Support to deliver energy savings

In addition to the many tips and information available online, small businesses can use energy brokers to help them take further energy-saving steps.

Utilitywise, for example, offers an energy and water audit that helps businesses to identify where savings can be made and prioritise energy and water saving projects with the best return on investment.

Its free smart technology, Utility Insight SmartDash*, is a monitoring and reporting system that helps businesses achieve efficiencies in gas, electricity and water by becoming more energy conscious.

The greatest hope of the RE100 initiative is that it has a ripple effect on other businesses, encouraging them to switch to green energy for business but also take steps to reduce consumption.

Michelle Crozier Yates, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Adobe, said: “The private sector accounts for more than half of the world’s electricity consumption. Collectively, we are the tide that raises all ships.”

  • Get Utility Insight for free when you buy an energy contract through Utilitywise, which offers competitively priced energy from the main suppliers. Its network also includes suppliers that specialise in green energy.

 

 

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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