Business Benefits of Renewable Energy
What Does Renewable Energy Mean?
Renewable energies (or renewables) are ways to generate energy from (theoretically) unlimited natural resources. These resources are either available with no time limit or replenish more quickly than the rate at which they are consumed.
Renewable energies are generally spoken of as opposed to fossil fuel energies. The fossil fuels’ stocks are limited and non-renewable in the human timescale. The most known examples of these resources are coal, oil and natural gas. On the contrary, renewable energies are produced from renewable sources. Here, we’re talking about energy coming from solar rays, wind or water cycles – all theoretically unlimited on a human scale time.
Renewable energies are also often referred to as “green energies” or “clean energies”.
Still, this doesn’t mean that these energies aren’t harmful to the environment and have zero impact. Nonetheless, they have a low environmental impact compared to fossil fuels.
The renewables’ power consumption has been growing. They have provided 8% of the world’s electricity in 2017 and they now cover 1/3 of the power mix in Europe. At the same time, the energy grid gets 1/4 of the total energy from renewables in China and 1/6 in the United States, India, and Japan.
Top Advantages of Renewable Energy for Businesses
1. Lower Energy Bills
Traditional energy sources, like natural gas, oil and coal are finite and the costs of these fossil fuels have consistently increased over the years as a result. From a financial perspective, this makes utility costs a hefty aspect of your business’ budget each year. Such
a hit to your budget every year could hinder your growth and expansion, particularly if you require larger commercial premises which will cost more to run from an energy point of view.
You could be paying thousands of pounds more every year compared to competitors who have already switched to renewable energy. The likes of solar or wind power can be a highly effective way of reducing your energy bills each month, with the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint too. In many cases, if you produce more energy than you require, it can be stored for future use which will provide peace of mind and also resilience for your business.
2. Strong Return on Investment
For a business, understanding the return on investment is critical to every financial decision — especially with larger purchases. Renewable energy solutions such as Ground Source Heat Pumps, or GSHPs, require a financial investment upfront but the long-term savings your business will make from them ensures that the initial outlay is worthwhile.
GSHPs have significantly low operational costs so they’re a cost-effective option for commercial premises. What’s more, the components of a heat pump are long-lasting for fantastic returns over decades of use. Over time, the savings your business could make from renewable energy will counteract the initial costs, in some cases within just a few years.
3. Fewer Maintenance Costs
Many renewable energy systems are low maintenance compared to traditional generators, which makes them stress-free solutions for busy commercial premises, but it also means that you’ll save on maintenance costs and repairs. Because renewable energy comes from naturally abundant resources, the operating costs to source energy are much lower.
Solar PV systems are quick to install, after which you can leave them and simply monitor them while benefitting from cleaner, cheaper energy. New solar panels can be expected to last for up to 40 years if they’re cared for properly.
4. Improved Public Image & Reputation
Brand image plays a primary role in customer acquisition and retention. By switching to renewable energy, businesses can encourage environmentally conscious customers to do business with them over other competitors. Sustainability is a focus for so many consumers today. That’s why showing customers and clients that you’re making greener strides in areas of your business can do wonders for your reputation.
In turn, encouraging customers and clients to choose your business over a non-environmentally friendly business can improve your bottom line. As time goes on and sustainability becomes an even bigger focus than it currently is, being able to demonstrate your green credentials could spell the difference between winning a customer or opportunity and losing them.
5. Public Relations Boost
In an economy transitioning to net-zero emissions, all sectors must position themselves for success by communicating how they are addressing sustainability challenges and harnessing the massive opportunities arising through the societal transformation currently underway. It’s important that organisations not just tell their story but engender and influence conversations about the issues that matter to them.
The number of eco-friendly businesses using renewable sources of energy and committed to ethical business practices is increasing every day. In fact, certain grants and tax deductions from the government, mean you need to pay attention to the issue as part of your corporate social responsibility.
A company that prioritises the environment is likely to be viewed in a more positive light, and customers may be more likely to buy as a result. By promoting green achievements in your marketing, you can increase customer loyalty, attract new customers and even please shareholders with the consequential increase in profits and the reduction in costs due to recycling and conserving energy can deliver.
6. Brand Exposure
By promoting your business’ green activities, you will create more PR opportunities which will raise the profile of your business significantly. Likewise, companies that get involved in the local community or environmental charities can promote sustainability, solidify their influence in the industry and give something back to the local community. In addition, in terms of press releases, consider the use of social media platforms to post photos and videos to showcase your eco-friendly activities.
7. Brand Appeal
An eco-friendly company recycles more, produces minimal toxic emissions, and generates less waste. This has another positive side effect as it creates a cleaner working environment for staff and, if done correctly, can also improve staff motivation and engagement; this can reduce the amount of sick leave taken and even increase productivity.
8. Create Jobs & Stimulate the Economy
For the UK to progress towards net-zero by 2050 we’d need to dramatically increase the use of renewable and other low carbon energy sources to reduce our reliance on carbon-emitting sources like coal, oil and natural gas. A key driver of this change will be businesses embracing this challenge over the coming years. Such measures include:
Grants, loans and tax relief directed towards green transport, circular economy and clean energy research, development and deployment;
Financial support to households and businesses for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations;
New funding and programmes to create jobs and stimulate economic activity through ecosystem restoration;
Control of invasive alien species and forest conservation
The increasing investments in the renewable energy sector has the potential to provide more jobs than any other fossil fuel industry. Local businesses and renewable industries will benefit from this change as their income will increase significantly. Gaeltel has seen this happen with the dramatic increase in demand for solar since the start of the energy crisis commencing towards the end of the pandemic and the Ukraine war. There has been 10 -fold increase in demand for solar over the last 6 months.
Experts project that with the ongoing rigorous campaigns to embrace renewable energy, thousands of stable jobs will be created.
9. Less Service Disruption
In the previous few decades, the use of fossil fuels has sharply increased. This over-reliance on fossil fuels has led to our security being threatened. Fossil fuels are prone to trade disputes, political instabilities, a spike in energy prices and unnecessary wars. These variables affect a lot more than a nation’s energy policies; they can significantly drain a county’s economy.
Although most argue that solar and wind energy is unreliable, a solid infrastructure puts this argument to rest. If solar and wind plants are distributed over a large geographical location, there can be minimal electricity generation interruption because weather disruptions in one location cannot be the same in other locations.
Renewable energy technologies require less overall maintenance than traditional generators that use traditional fuel sources. Renewable energy generating technology like solar panels and wind turbines either have few or no moving parts.
10. Powerful Return on Investment
There are many advantages to using renewable energy sources for businesses, such as marketing opportunities, reduction of emissions, lower energy costs, and many others. The impact these sources can have on the environment should not be overlooked.
You will see savings on your energy bills, which could be thousands of pounds a year depending on your business size. You’ll also save money in maintenance fees and repairs, putting more money back into your pocket. As traditional resources, like coal, get lower and lower, you won’t need to compete with outrageous prices to power your business — keeping more money in your pocket.
11. Better for the Environment
In any discussion about climate change, renewable energy usually tops the list of changes the world can implement to stave off the worst effects of rising temperatures. That's because renewable energy sources such as solar and wind don't emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
12. Community Improvements
We need to act fast to cut our greenhouse gas emissions, and to do that we need more low-carbon renewable energy. New renewable energy projects done well, in a way that minimises impacts on landscapes, mean that the rural communities who host wind turbines or solar farms get to keep the money these schemes generate.
Community-run energy schemes make money which can then be used to help local people and improve the area. Because community energy schemes are owned by local people rather than large corporations, the profit on the energy they produce doesn’t disappear into the pockets of distant speculators but goes straight back to the people in the same community.
Because community energy schemes are owned and designed locally, they encourage people to consider using just the energy that their local area can produce, helping to cut demand and further reducing consumption. Community energy projects are about a lot more than just profit. They look at the bigger landscape, and so can be designed in a way that helps wildlife and increases biodiversity.
13. Marketing Advantages
Companies are always looking for new ways to be more sustainable. Not only can going green help your company’s bottom line, but it can also help attract new clients and customers. Sometimes, though, it seems like the conversion to renewable energy isn’t worth the effort.
However, switching to renewable energy can bring many different benefits to your business: consistently lower energy bills, public relations boost, and less service disruption. No matter your industry, you want to be perceived as a leader in that area. As a business owner, you need to make strategic and smart decisions that push you ahead of your competitors. If there are not a lot of companies in your industry using renewable energy forms, switching can differentiate you enough that you become a leader.
14. Unique Selling Points
Using renewable energy is generally far more efficient than fossil fuels because it is, by nature, renewable. That means that with renewables we typically don't have to dig into the ground or do anything dangerous to source the fuel, which is an efficient way of fuelling our world compared to fossil fuels.
The development and use of renewable energy will improve the energy security, environment, economy, mechanical manufacturing, construction, transportation, and industry and help to create new jobs. Energies of solar, wind and biomass can meet local energy demands and help to improve environmental protection.
Falling costs have been the biggest factor in the explosion of renewable energy. Since 2010, the cost of solar photovoltaic electricity has fallen 85%, and the costs of both onshore and offshore wind electricity have been cut by about half.
15. Potential New Profit Stream
Renewable energy solutions create a profitable payback by either saving energy or generating energy for businesses. Solar PV in most cases now shows a payback within 4 years and LED retrofit gives paybacks often in 3 years or less.
If for example, you paid for the equipment on a 5-year lease basis, your net benefit would be greater than your actual quarterly lease cost. The solutions pay for themselves through the savings and add profit to your bottom line. Excess profits can be made and help you to make your business more energy-efficient while at the same time helping the global carbon reduction drive to net zero.
If you renew your gas, electricity and water accounts through Gaeltel not only will you have access to all the parties quoting in the market but we can also utilise your billing as a means to provide funding for renewable energy solutions. This is a painless way to optimise your energy efficiency as the costs of the solutions are fully covered by your savings, without the need for a separate loan.
How to Make Your Business Greener
To be able to market your business as ‘green’ or eco-friendly, you’ll need to be able to back it up with real action and tangible results. Here are a few simple things you can do to get started.
Reduce your energy usage by turning off the lights and computers at the end of the day.
Recycle as much as possible including paper and plastic, and reuse and recycle ink cartridges.
Consider switching to biodegradable packaging or using materials made from recyclable materials.
Introduce more online processes and paperless documents to reduce paper and ink usage and encourage staff to reduce printing levels.
Switch your business utilities supplier to one which generates energy via renewable and eco-friendly technology such as wind farms or solar panels rather than fossil fuels.
Generate your own green electricity by installing solar panels for the office; this will also reduce your energy costs as you’ll need to buy less from a supplier.
Start a carpooling scheme that incentivizes staff to reduce the number of vehicles on the road because of your business.
If your business provides employees with company cars, you may want to consider electric or hybrid vehicles to reduce the amount of fuel used.
How to Switch Your Business to Renewable Energy
At Gaeltel we class ourselves as an ethically clean renewable energy provider.
With us, you can also benefit from a 5% grant on all our 37 renewable energy solutions in our portfolio. This grant is automatically applied to all our quotations at Gaeltel so there are no cumbersome application forms to fill out.
Please also note that this discount is in addition to any grant you can get from any other source. Gaeltel is serious about saving the planet. Help us to achieve our goals and ask for a free site survey or a no-obligation quote.