June 20, 2022

Green Electricity & Heating for Business

Green Electricity & Heating for Business

More and more businesses are branching out to invest in the world of green energy with 2022 set to continue the rising trend. As forward-thinking business owners move toward sustainable practice, they’re not only helping to avoid the climate crisis, they offer a badge of assurance for customers. From installing a solar PV system, to biomass energy from biomass boilers, the undeniable advantages of renewable energy sees green power march forward.

Domestic heating has been the hot topic of late because our older housing stock is so inefficient when compared to new builds. But whilst the onus is on the homeowner to do something about their carbon emissions, it’s businesses that need to change too.

Although vital, individual action is not enough. The business sector is the largest consumer of power in the country, buying around 56% of all the UK’s electricity.

What is renewable energy?

An easy renewable energy definition is simply to say that it’s energy that comes from sources that are infinite.

Renewable energy examples include any energy we can collect from the sun, the wind, the earth or water.

Green electricity and heating can either come from the same renewable energy sources or a blend of different ones. For example, we can get hot water to heat our buildings from the sun’s power and we can also get electricity from the sun too.  

We can generate electricity or heat by manipulating energy sources that are renewable (e.g. tidal power) where we use the repetitive force or motion. We can also just collect what’s already there, for example digging for geothermal heating from underground and channelling it upwards to use.

Unlike fossil fuels - which we know are running out (whilst doing irreversible damage to our planet), renewable energy stocks are endless - provided we have a functioning planet.

When we switch to renewable energy, air pollution and air quality is also dramatically improved.

Types of renewable energy

As mentioned, there are lots of different renewable energy types, but we actually utilise alternative energy by adding technology.

What is Solar Renewable Energy used for?  

  • The use of solar photovoltaics, or solar panels which we can place on the roofs of buildings to generate electricity.
  • The use of solar thermal panels, whereby we collect heat from the sun and transfer that heat to special storage.

What is Biomass Renewable Energy used For?

  • Biomass is natural fuel made from burning organic matter, like food waste or wood. This fuel is used in biomass boilers, which function much like a traditional gas boiler.
  • Modern wood stoves or wood burners are akin to sealed fireplaces. Since they’re fuelled by wood rather than coal, they’re also defined as a biomass renewable energy technology.
  • Biogas is where food waste gasses (or livestock manure) is left to decompose, which produces a natural gas. This biogas can again be used to make green hydrogen.

What is Wind Energy used for?

  • Wind energy is collected by wind turbines, which are typically placed either in the sea or on land, depending on where it’s most windy
  • The wind turbines use their rotor blades to stimulate the maximum aerodynamic force. As the wind blows, air pressure on one side of the blade lifts and pushes the blade around, creating the spinning motion. The spinning rotor in the centre is connected to a generator, which helps to speed up rotation, ultimately translating the aerodynamic force into electricity.

What is Geothermal Energy used for?

  • Geothermal energy comes from heat that already exists deep within the earths core. We can harvest that energy and use it to heat and cool as well as to produce electricity.
  •  Typically, ground source heat pumps utilise geothermal energy and pump that heat up through a home or building via radiators and underfloor heating.

What is Hydro Energy used for?

  • The flow and tides of water within rivers, waterfalls and the oceans has long been utilised to create and harvest renewable energy.
  •  Hydrogen is clean fuel that leaves only water behind once used. Hydrogen can be made in a few different ways, but can be used to create electricity, power and heat.

Renewable energy investors

Being seen as an ethical business

Business owners are clearly considering how renewables can cater to your corporate and social responsibility.

Developing your image as an ethical business should take higher priority than ever, as popular culture frowns upon the ‘more more more’ mentality and shifts towards home grown sustainability.

Backed by the British Government, businesses, healthcare and individuals alike are heavily encouraged to meet expectations for future sustainability.

The Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expects a 66% reduction in emissions in NHS, schools and industry within 15 years.

Decarbonisation is the buzzword for the next decade, with the COP26 expected to continue pushing momentum toward a carbon neutral future. Whispers that those not meeting climate tackling criteria will be surely be penalised with a new carbon tax.  

And who wouldn’t want to be seen and respected as an environmentally friendly industry leader whilst providing commercial benefits?

By confirming your support for a sustainable future, any potential clients or investors will see your support as positive, which ultimately promotes higher company valuations.

What Do the Public Want?

When surveyed in August 2020, British audiences made it quite clear that they’d prefer climate solving solutions over more home entertainment, reconfirming public preference heavily sways towards businesses seen to be acting upon the climate crisis.

It’s no surprise then that UK customers are far more likely to recommend a company or brand that have invested in their own renewable energy solutions or bought its energy from renewable sources.

Companies opting into renewable products are positively supporting the essential public demand too.

The return on your green investment

Deciding to invest in green energy solutions means you’ll be paid for every kWh of energy you generate, via the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Even if you use the energy generated, you will still earn from it.

Whether a business or a homeowner, the incentives are the same, which enables anyone to reap the benefits of installing renewable energy.

In fact, as a business you stand to reap even more benefits than the average homeowner. Not only does it do wonders for your image, which in turn boosts revenue, you’ll be financially better off.

This is because:

  • You’re essentially heating a building for a workforce, rather than one family, so per person your heating costs are lower
  • You’re able to claim energy bills back on tax which isn’t something available to homeowners
  • During times when your business isn’t in use, such as evenings and weekends, you’ll earn more money from incentives and buy back schemes
  • You’ll make savings on energy bills
  • Customers will choose you over competitors who are not seen to have green credentials

Renewable energy UK

So what technologies can UK businesses use?

Age old methods we’ve always used to define renewable energy, like geothermal, solar, wind and water, now have a modernised technology to boost them.

Air source heat pumps are the fastest growing renewable energy technology in the UK and work for homes and businesses alike.

Renewable energy companies have hit the jackpot with air source heat pumps because of their ingenious design, ease of installation, low maintenance and longevity.

Once installed, an air source heat pump will infinitely save on energy bills too.

A single unit can supply enough heat for the average sized home throughout the winter, and in summer reverse its function to be used as air conditioning.

So imagine what it could do for your business.

Renewable energy advantages and disadvantages

Like with anything, there are of course advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy.

Breaking it down, every type of renewable energy has its flaws, but even when stacking up all the collective disadvantages of renewables the benefits far outweigh non renewable alternatives.

Renewable energy advantages

  • It’s clean energy. Renewable energy does not cause pollution when it’s up running. That means it’s healthier for humans and the planet.
  • It’s cheaper. Once installed, renewable energy technology is typically cost free, long lasting and easy to maintain.
  • You can earn an income. With the renewable heat incentive, the UK government pays you back for up to 7 years. Advantages of solar panels include mandatory buy back schemes from big energy companies to pay you for surplus energy.
  • It’s reliable. The very nature of renewable electricity and heat is that it comes from ongoing, sustainable sources that will always be there.
  • It’s future proof. We know that fossil fuels are running out, but green energy isn’t. That means we have an endless supply.

Renewablee energy disadvantages

  • Costly to install. Because renewable technology has not been invested in properly, there are limited engineers who are qualified to install it. When demand is high, but resource is limited, prices go up
  • Inconsistent. If the sun doesn’t shine, advantages of solar power diminish as you can’t gather as much energy. Likewise if the wind isn’t blowing then advantages of wind energy lessen.
  • It’s complex. One type of renewable energy technology may not be enough to heat and power an entire building, which requires a more layered approach of blending technologies together.
  • There isn’t enough time to completely transfer to 100% renewable energy. Filling the energy gap to stop using fossil fuels in time for a net zero 2050 is a difficult problem. We will need nuclear power and hydrogen to play a part, both of which have hazardous history.

Which renewable energy is best for your business?

So should you invest in ground or air source heat pumps? Solar PV or Biomass boiler? What about a Thermal Heatbank?

Many SME’s already know about the potential savings and advantages that can be generated from introducing a renewable energy system to your business or properties.

Determining what your priorities are is key. Is it to save money? Or is your passion to build a reliable and efficient future? Or do you want to be seen as innovative and modern?

At BioSun Energy, we aim to show just how to fulfil these great ideas for your business.

Provided you have your own building and premises, or have a long-term lease in place, you are eligible for renewable energy installation.

In some cases, you may need permission for solar panels, heat pumps or biomass boilers to be installed, but we are able to take you through the entire process with ease.

When businesses are heavily reliant on electricity, there is a noticeably positive impact when switching to renewables.

In fact, you can reduce your electricity consumption by up to 50% without compromising on efficiency.

For heating, we recommend air source heat pumps and biomass boilers because of their eligibility for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), helping you earn back.

A wood burning stove is an aesthetically gorgeous way to keep staff warm and present your business. Imagine an office that’s beautifully cosy in the winter months with your own inhouse fire.

You can organise an automated system where pellets are fed into the stove without intervention, or you can allocate a member of staff to take care of putting new logs in.

Being in close proximity to a responsibly catered wooded area means that there is minimal carbon impact. Equally importantly to you, it’s a lot cheaper to produce heat this way than via electricity, whilst you are also paid to produce it too. For biomass deliveries, you can set up designated times and dates.

Your reputation as a business is so important. Investing in future proof technologies means you are enhancing corporate reputations too and providing more changes for bigger, larger scale renewable energy projects to be possible.

Green energy companies

Seeing the bigger picture is often how most entrepreneurs grow beyond their competitors.

There are huge opportunities to be had by installing renewable energy in your business, both financially and environmentally.

If you’d like to chat through the renewable energy advantage, we urge you to act now, as the renewable heat incentive is set to expire in March 2022 and as yet, no announcements have been made by the UK government.

Feel free to contact BioSun Energy to talk through your ideal options today and get a no obligation quote.

Let's talk about your project

If you have a project in mind or are thinking of installing renewable energy, please contact us for an initial informal chat.