Connect with us

Energy

Big Business Shows Small Firms Advantages of Green Energy

Published

on

commercial-green-energy-solutions

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

Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?

Published

on

The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?

The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.


Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.

The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.

Introducing New Technology

The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.

  • To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
  • Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
  • Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.

How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy

Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.


The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.

The Internet of Things

Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.

Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.

Blockchain Technology

It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)

The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.

Continue Reading

Energy

4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy

Published

on

By

Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.

However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?


A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.

1.     Boulder Nissan

When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:

  • Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
  • They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
  • Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.

This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.

2.     Valley Electric Association

In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.


“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”

The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.

This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.

3.     Las Vegas Casinos

A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.

“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”

There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.

4.     Boston College

Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.

Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending