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Energy: Green energy incentives

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With the price of gas and electricity on the rise and natural resources declining, the UK government has set targets to increase the use of renewable energy to produce heating and electricity and reduce carbon emissions. By 2020, the UK needs to ensure that 15% of its power is derived from renewable sources, such as solar panels, wind farms or hydro-electric dams.

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Green energy incentives for UK businesses

With the UK government currently in the middle of a big promotion for green energy, they have launched a number of arrangements for homes and businesses to go green with confidence. Businesses in particular can benefit from a variety of incentives and subsidies which could help drive down the price of commercial electricity and heating and future proof against government renewable business electricity targets.

  • Feed-In Tariffs (FITs). There are generous payments made to businesses who install their own power producing equipment, such as wind turbines or solar panels. Not only will you save money on business electricity prices, you can also be paid for the amount of electricity produced and apply for subsidies to fit the machinery.
  • Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme to provide financial support for businesses wishing to install renewable heat generators, such as biomass boilers, solar panels or renewable water heat pumps. Eligible organisations can benefit from income for twenty years, making renewable energy a really viable option.
  • Green Deal. The Green Deal is a scheme to help businesses increase their energy efficiency. The cost of upgrading your gas and electricity systems, improving insulation or installing green power technology can be expensive. The government is encouraging this work by offering businesses the chance to sign up to the Green Deal and pay off the cost in installments through future business electricity billing.
  • Local Energy Assessment Fund. Administered by the Energy Saving Trust, the £10 million LEA fund is available to various community organisations and businesses who wish to apply with green energy schemes.

For further information about green incentives and grants and to check for eligibility, visit the Renewable Energy Centre and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

How can your business benefit from switching to green energy?

The obvious initial benefit for businesses taking advantage of green schemes is financial, with commercial electricity prices and bills falling. But the long term benefits are even more attractive. Companies that demonstrate a commitment to green energy can be marketed in a very positive light and perhaps gain a competitive advantage. Many customers will value your environmental practices and new business markets will quickly open up. The value of this cannot be underestimated and should be considered when investigating green energy investments.