Electricity in the UK is generated in a variety of ways. Some of them are environmentally friendly; most of them aren’t.
In England in 2015, 21.5% of electricity generated was from renewables, while the remainder was from coal, gas, nuclear and oil. Scotland was slightly ‘greener’ with 42.2% from renewables.
With the growing impact of climate change on the world and the soaring prices of energy, the methods by which we generate our power are creeping further into the public consciousness.
Businesses looking to improve their carbon footprint have plenty of renewables options to choose from in order to reduce the amount of electricity they need to purchase from the grid. But only the most specialised of companies would be able to go 100% renewable – a small number.
The most common tactic is to reduce consumption as much as possible, then offset the essential remainder of the carbon footprint. One way of doing this is to buy ‘green’ electricity.
What is it?
Green electricity can be bought from suppliers that offer it as a replacement for normal electricity, which is made in conventional ways (known as ‘brown electricity’). Green electricity is essentially electricity that has been generated with no impact on the environment.
It has either been generated via renewables such as wind turbines or solar panels (‘carbon-free’); or has been offset by the supplier (‘carbon-offset’), whereby they cover the emissions from generation by funding or creating other carbon reduction projects. These could include reforestation, creation of renewable sources or something completely bespoke.
- Firstly, businesses can use the procurement of green electricity to offset any energy usage they simply can’t cut from their carbon footprint. As the name suggests, it will literally make a business ‘greener’.
- Green electricity has a positive impact on the environment, and hence a positive impact on brand. Going carbon neutral is a major achievement for a business and should be accompanied by a PR campaign.
- Green electricity is often more expensive than brown, however it can have other, longer term benefits such as relief from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) that is applied to brown electricity. CCL rates are itemised on electricity bills. There are varying degrees of discount available through procurement of green energy.
- Different suppliers have different attitudes to green power. Some will offer discounts, some will offer it at the same rate as brown, some will charge a premium. Knowing where to get the best value, as with everything in the energy market, is paramount.
Now you have the lowdown on green energy, let us know if we can help you procure it. The best advice, the best carbon reduction, the best deal.