Green business energy is a really easy way for a business to start its journey to becoming more sustainable. There’s a common misconception that green energy tariffs are more expensive. This just isn’t true.
Many business energy suppliers are offering lots of different renewable tariffs. Selecting the best green tariff for your business will largely depend on your goals for a more sustainable business.
What is a green energy tariff?
A green energy tariff is a type of energy contract where your supplier matches the energy you buy with purchases of renewable energy. This energy is then fed into the National Grid.
The more people that sign up for green energy contracts, the higher the percentage of renewable energy in the national supply. This is the main benefit of green energy tariffs; they promote a more sustainable generation of energy.
Where can I get renewable business electricity?
You’ll already be familiar with the UK’s ‘Big Six’. However, many independent suppliers have emerged and specialised in offering green energy.
Comparing business energy suppliers is the quickest and easiest way to find cheap green energy tariffs. Our comparison engine will search trusted suppliers for the best deals, including green electricity tariffs.
Here are some of the suppliers with great deals on green energy.
Octopus Energy Business
Octopus Energy Business offers 100% green electricity coming from the sun, wind and water. They are known for their great customer service and are rated highly on Trustpilot. They have been deemed a Which? Recommended provider on multiple occasions.
Bulb Business Energy
What sets Bulb apart from other business electricity suppliers is the unique approach to contracts. They do not charge any exit fees and no long contracts, unique to this supplier only. Sometimes business energy quotes from Bulb are a little more expensive but they are rated excellent on Trustpilot and are one of the UK’s fastest-growing energy suppliers.
Their green gas is made up of 74% purpose-grown crops, 18% food or farm waste and 8% environment residue.
Here’s a breakdown of their renewable electricity sources:
- Wind (78%)
- Solar Power (18%)
- Hydro (4%)
OVO Energy is a big contender amongst UK energy suppliers, especially after acquiring SSE in 2020. This supplier offers 100% renewable electricity as a standard to all its customers. They also provide 100% carbon-neutral gas, with 15% green gas and the remainder offset. OVO plant a tree in each customer’s name every year to help the environment.
Here’s a breakdown of OVO’s 15% green gas production:
- Anaerobic digestion (49%)
- Solar (32%)
- Wind (18%)
- Hydro (1%)
British Gas green energy tariffs are tailored towards businesses using large amounts of electricity and gas. For businesses using over 100,000 kWh of fuel, they offer great support and guidance on reducing energy usage and becoming more sustainable. They are backed by the Carbon Trust to add confidence to their renewable supply.
Should my business invest in renewable energy?
Some businesses may want to take the next step in sustainability. Businesses can generate long-term savings from generating their own energy without relying on the national grid.
Installing a form of renewable energy onto your business can not only reduce your carbon emissions but could also increase your green credentials and boost your company’s reputation.
There are different types of renewable energy. Examples include:
Solar PV Panels
One of the UK’s most popular sources of renewable energy, these systems use sunlight to generate electricity. Solar panels are typically easy to install, and they are relatively low maintenance.
Costs can average at around £5,000-£10,000 for small solar PV systems. It usually takes between 6-10 years for you to get a return on your investment.
Biomass systems are designed to generate both electricity and heat through the burning or fermenting of organic material. Costs depend on the size of the boiler used, so it can be difficult to get a price estimate for these systems. However, an automatically fed biomass boiler can cost between £10,000-£19,000, installation costs included .
Another popular renewable technology in the UK. Wind turbines are used to generate electricity using power from the wind. These typically need to be placed in large, open areas. Microturbine installations usually cost approximately £10,000 (producing 2.5-6w), whilst larger turbine installations can be priced up to £3m. The payback time for this technology depends on the size of the turbine.
Solar thermal technology harnesses energy from the sun to heat water that is stored in a hot water tank. These systems are typically simple to install and they don’t tend to require a lot of maintenance.
Solar thermal systems can cost between £3,000-£5,000 to install. It usually takes around 5 years for them to return investment costs.
This renewable process involves the breaking down of organic matter and the burning of biogas (containing methane) to produce heat and electricity.
What to consider before investing in renewable energy
Many businesses have taken the step to incorporate renewable energy into their business. If you’re considering this, here are a few factors you’ll need to think about:
- Location and Space
- Planning Permission
- Legal Considerations
Some renewable sources are better suited to specific locations than others. You should consider whether your business has sufficient space for a renewable energy source. For example, wind turbines are most effective in places like coastal and rural areas, where space is ample and the wind is strong and reliable.
You’ll need to obtain planning permission before you install a renewable energy source onto your commercial property. You should also ensure that the installation will not affect any other buildings nearby. Additionally, bear in mind that installing a renewable source can require alterations to be made to your premises.
Your renewable technologies need to be government approved. Your selected installer should be registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This helps to protect your investment and ensures that your renewable source is installed to the highest quality.
Installing a renewable energy source can have high initial costs. However, these costs are likely to be paid back in savings. You could also generate additional income through the government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme (now Smart Export Guarantee).
These are just a few of the key factors you’ll need to consider if you choose to get a renewable energy source installed. If you’d prefer an eco-friendly option that requires less commitment, you could opt to get a green energy tariff for your business.