The SMEs that are powering ahead with renewable energy

Small companies all over the UK are using the latest clean energy technologies to get ahead … are you with them?

Just because your business is small, that doesn’t mean your impact on the world can’t be significant. In fact, more SME owners are opting for environmentally-friendly energy now than ever before. So what are these businesses doing, and how can your business also reap the benefits of going renewable?

Law and order

Opus Energy spoke with 500 small and medium-sized business owners across the UK for their Business Boost report and found that more than three quarters (78%) of SMEs are keen to be supplied with renewable energy.

From those SMEs wanting cleaner energy, 38% of them wanted it to help boost their business’ green credentials – and with new eco-friendly obligations for businesses being enforced on a regular basis, it’s no surprise why. Most recently, all SME letting agencies or self-employed will be affected by a new regulation that says all houses must pass certain energy performance standards if they want to be rented to tenants. It’s a small step towards a green future, but with everyday standards such as this in place, it’s no wonder that business owners are growing conscious of hitting environmental targets.

Animal planet

An incredibly positive 40% of small businesses want to up their eco-friendly status simply because it’s better for the environment. In fact, many small businesses are finding very enterprising ways of becoming more eco-efficient.

That’s how Hamerton Zoo Park became one of the businesses paving the way in renewable energy. With some innovative thinking and a desire to become more responsible in their energy-consumption, Hamerton Zoo use a combination of newly-installed wind turbines, solar panelling and a biomass boiler to power their entire zoo.

“We are focused on providing a sustainable environment for our staff, visitors and animals, so we’re always looking to improve our energy efficiency.  We’re proud to be the most environmentally-friendly zoo in Europe,” says Hamerton Zoo Park Director, Andrew Swales.

Not only do they generate all of their own energy, but their business profitability has also increased as any excess energy gets sold back.

Day after tomorrow

They’re not the only ones – when the community board of Cambridgeshire village Gamlingay decided that it was up to them to lead the way for a cleaner, greener future, they also chose the renewable route.

Setting up a wind turbine provided energy for the village, and helped them achieve their goal of reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and promoting eco-consciousness in the local area. What’s more, extra energy was once again sold to fund local business ventures and causes.

It’s easy being green

So how can your SME make the jump to becoming greener?  See our 3 top tips:

1. Smart meters

Many small businesses are already energy conscious and on-board with Smart Meters – the newest technology to embrace that ensures you can keep an eye on your consumption and ensure that peak usage is dealt with as efficiently as possible.

2. Renewable technologies

For those who want to pro-actively reduce their carbon footprint, investing in renewable technologies can help generate power that is far more environmentally friendly. Most people already know the benefits of wind turbines and solar panels, ideal for those with spare land or physical space on their property who want to harness a more natural power.

3. Alternative energy

However, a lot of people are still unaware of the efficiency and potential for biomass or AD (anaerobic digestion) energy – the ultimate choice for any business with food, garden and even animal waste.

To find out the full results of our Business Boost report, click here