Over the last decade, it's become clear that in order to maintain the health of our planet, ourselves, and our businesses, we all must make the switch from using unsustainable, polluting sources of fuel, such as coal, oil and gas, to more renewable, green energy resources.

As such, currently, the UK government has set a target of reducing the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Furthermore, at the 2021 summit in Cornwall, G7 leaders agreed upon ending the use of coal-powered energy plants and committed to restricting global temperatures rises to just 1.5C.

Needless to say then, the future is green and any individual or collective that doesn't buy into that prospect runs the risk of being left behind.

With that in mind, if you're looking to help your business make the move to green energy, it's important to understand exactly why it's beneficial, which renewable energy source(s) and suppliers are best for your business, and indeed how to make the switch.

At Business Energy UK we specialise in helping businesses do just that. So if you're looking for further advice or if you're interested in receiving a quote, you can visit our website, or give us a call on 0800 464 7677.

We'll help get the green ball rolling and future-proof your business.

Benefits of switching to renewable business energy

The benefits of switching to renewable energy are innumerable and, alongside lowering its carbon footprint, your business stands to make significant financial savings should you make the move to a green energy supplier.

However, as we say, the rewards of switching to a clean energy supplier are numerous and varying, so let's take a closer look at what you can expect once you make the move:

  • A future for your company: it's widely agreed that the cost of acting on climate change is dwarfed by the cost of inaction. As such, making the move now will contribute to a secure future for you and your company.
  • Exemption from the Climate Change Levy: the CCL is a government tax implemented to encourage businesses to reduce their footprint and impact on the environment.
  • Income generation: Solar panels and other means of generating clean energy are incredibly efficient and improving year on year. As such, you can generate your own electricity and, effectively, sell the excess back to the national grid at a premium price.
  • Improves your company's image: the environmental issues we face have rightly risen to the forefront of social consciousness. Seeing your company is playing its part in rectifying such issues will greatly enhance its image.
  • Reduction of emissions: greatly contributes to your business meeting carbon reduction targets.
  • Financial and environmental sustainability: Fossil fuels are expensive and finite. Switching to green energy futureproofs your business' power source.
  • Reducing/Stable energy costs: Renewable electricity isn't affected by industry price fluctuations. That said, as technology is refined, renewables stand to become more and more affordable.
  • More manageable: moving to green energy suppliers enables owners to plan and manage their energy use more easily.

These are just some of the benefits of utilising renewable power sources.

Another option is to sign a Green Energy Tariff. This ensures that, while the energy you use from your current provider still comes from the same, potentially non-renewable source, said provider will match some or all of the energy you use with the amount of energy they buy from renewable sources.

The more of us that sign up to the Tariff, the more clean energy entering the system.

How is renewable energy generated?

Renewable energy can already be generated in several ways and these means are being refined and made more efficient all the time. What's more, new methods of producing sustainable energy are evolving every day.

For now, however, the four major modes of producing green energy are as follows:

  • Solar energy: arguably the most accessible option for businesses to generate their own green energy. Solar power/panels utilise photovoltaic cells, mirror arrays and rooftop pipes to capture and store solar electromagnetic energy from the sun.
  • Wind energy: wind power is our cheapest and most efficient source of energy. Wind turbines are often erected in vast farms offshore or designated inland zones. The finely balanced rotors of the turbines only need the slightest breeze to rotate and thus generate electricity.
  • Geothermal Energy: perhaps one of our most extensive-yet untapped sources of green energy, geothermal harnesses the heat forged inside the Earth's core to power generators and create electricity. Available via natural, geothermal hotspots or drilling down to underground reservoirs.
  • Hydroelectricity: hydroelectric power harnesses the natural power of rivers to turn turbines and generators in dams positioned on watercourses around the world.
  • Other means of generating green energy include Wave Power, Hydrogen, Biomass and Artificial Photosynthesis. However, these methods of energy capture are still in their infancy and, thus, are not yet considered to be cost-effective or viable enough for widespread use.

Why should you be avoiding fossil fuels?

The reasons you should be avoiding using energy suppliers who use fossil fuel can be divided into three categories: Business, Human and Environmental.

From a business perspective, fossil fuel is inherently difficult to access and finite. In comparison, renewable energy supplies are much more accessible and infinite, meaning that while the energy their carbon-emitting counterparts generate already costs more, their price is only set to rise.

Likewise, as previously mentioned, society has collectively woken up to the perils of our carbon emissions. So, not only does your business stand to benefit financially from avoiding fossil fuel, but it will also gain an improved reputation as a consequence.

From a human perspective, we should be avoiding the use of fossil fuels because it's now widely believed that if we continue to burn these carbon-rich fuel sources, the exponential rise in global temperatures will most likely lead us through several irreturnable doors.

It's thought that the collapse of food supplies, loss of land and the unpredictable nature of the climate will combine to bring about a mass, human migration event and eventually, our demise.

Finally, from an environmental standing, the carbon emissions released since the Industrial Revolution have currently put us on track to bring about the sixth mass extinction of over 1 million species.

This human-induced or Anthropogenic extinction event not only stands to threaten human life in turn but also calls into question our collective morality. We have the technology and ability to save said species (and ourselves) so morally, can we afford to do nothing about it?

Are there any drawbacks to green business energy?

There are few drawbacks to switching to a green business energy supplier, however, it's worth noting that initially, the switch might appear to cost more than staying with your current, carbon-emitting provider.

Crucially, though, this is a false economy and you are guaranteed to make your money back over time should you make the switch.

Pertinently, however, it can take several years for your renewable energy source to recoup your initial outlay. As such, before you commit to changing your energy provider, it's recommended that you either own your business premises or have a long-term lease.

But, without further ado, let's take a look at the costs, payback periods and pros/cons of the most popular green energy systems:

Solar Panels

Cost: a small-scale system of solar panels will cost between £5000 - £10,000 and will take a maximum of 10 years to earn your money back.

Pros: the most logistically and financially accessible green energy.

Cons: the erection of solar farms on the ground can disturb wildlife habitats. So, it's best to opt for roof-top panels where possible.

Wind Power

Cost: a system of microturbines (2.5 - 6kW) will set your company back £10,000 while larger turbines (20 - 50kW) can cost up to £3,000,000. Thereafter, the microturbine system will repay you within 15 years, while the larger wind turbines will do so within 5 years and under.

Pros: currently the most efficient green method of generating power.

Cons: large-scale wind farms can be an issue for bats and migrating birds. So it's worth utilising an environmental consultant when considering your wind business electricity source.

Geothermal/Ground Source Heat Pumps

Cost: between £11,000 - £15,000. An outlay you'll recover within 15 years.

Pros: Reliability. Geothermal energy can be generated 24/7 as it isn't climate dependant. Similarly, geothermal activity inherently generates its own heat, so it's incredibly efficient.

Cons: geothermal energy is location-specific and so is only an option if your business is located near a hotspot. Similarly, the process of drilling involved can release hitherto trapped greenhouse gases and encourage increased tectonic activity.


Cost: £4000 - £8000 per kW. You'll earn your money back in just over a year for each kW of power generated.

Pros: Another reliable source of clean energy, hydroelectricity harnesses the flow of the water cycle. Therein, even minute turbines can be used to power individual buildings and homes.

Cons: hydroelectricity is, perhaps, the most controversial of the "Big Four" renewable energy sources. The construction of large-scale hydroelectric dams have negative ecological and human impacts both up and downstream, so tapping into a pre-established hydroelectric source is best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Renewable energy is exceptionally good for business.

As we've discussed, not only does switching to a green energy supplier stand to save you money in the long run, but it will also improve public perception of your business and encourage an evermore ecologically-minded customer base to engage with you and your company.

Furthermore, such is the variety of renewable business energy options, that you can manage and plan your company's energy use and bills much more efficiently, giving you more control over your outlays and injecting sustainability into your business model.

In addition to this, it's worth restating that investing in renewable electricity often enables an owner to harness more power than their business requires. So not only will this cheaper, more efficient energy source save you money, but it stands to generate another source of income for your business.

Absolutely. Renewable energy options are by far less expensive than their fossil fuel counterparts. They cost less to extract and capture from the environment. They incur next to no cost once the system is up and running and they're becoming more efficient every day.

Switching to a clean energy supplier such as Octopus Energy, Bulb or Ecotricity means you'll instantly incur a smaller bill for your energy. Likewise, if you invest in your own clean energy resource, for instance in solar panels or wind turbines, you will recoup the initial outlay over a period of years.

If you'd like to find out which clean energy company suits your business best, visit our website and we'll help you identify the best option for you.

Happily, there is a wide variety of green power providers available in the UK and around the world, so it's a good idea to shop around before committing to a particular company.

With that in mind, here at Business Energy UK, we've done the hard work for you, and you can compare business energy companies and quotes using our quick comparison tool here.

Also known by its chemical name, "Biomethane", this biogas is produced primarily from the processing of organic waste and anaerobic digestion. Sources can be food and animal waste, landfill and synthetic natural gas (Syngas).

The gases collected from the above sources can be converted to biomethane by removing the carbon dioxide as a means of reducing the greenhouse gases in their emissions once burned for energy.

As a result, if you own a business and wish to go green, biomethane can be a great go-between to help you make the transition from fossil fuel reliance to totally sustainable energy efficiency.