Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Benefits of using renewable energy

The benefits of using renewable energy

Generating and using renewable energy can help you to reduce your business' contribution to climate change and avoid using carbon intensive resources such as fossil fuels. Renewable energy also offers a wide range of other benefits to businesses, including:

  • Improving your environmental credentials and strengthening your brand - customers, investors and other stakeholders increasingly want to deal with businesses which show that they are environmentally responsible.
  • A more secure energy supply - fossil fuels won't last forever and supply is increasingly dependent on imports from overseas. Renewable energy sources are naturally occurring and won't run out.
  • Exemption from paying duty under the climate change levy - this duty is a tax on the energy used by businesses.
  • A reduction in allowances required under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme - in certain circumstances, businesses generating renewable energy may be able to offset this against the number of allowances they are required to purchase under the scheme. For information about CRC, see our guide on how to meet EU Emissions Trading System requirements.
  • Building relationships with businesses that have similar values - for example, you may be able to work with other local organisations on a renewable energy project.
  • Stable energy costs - gas and oil price rises are reflected in customers' energy bills. Renewable energy sources are not subject to the same price rises as fossil fuels.
  • Future proofing - renewable energy use will become more widespread, with legislation already placing targets for its use in certain new developments. Switching sooner rather than later will give your business early experience of renewable energy.

Even if your organisation's core business is not in the renewable energy sector, switching to renewable energy could still provide you with an additional revenue stream. See the page in this guide on generating income from renewable energy.

If you would like to learn more about renewable energy or other key issues you can use the NetRegs e-learning tools. These tools are free to use and cover the essential points of each topic. They might be useful as a refresher course, or to make sure that staff  have a good understanding of their environmental responsibilities.

  • Preventing pollution – a general guide
  • Duty of care
  • Sinks, drains and sewers
  • WEEE
  • Generating renewable energy

All are available at: NetRegs: e-learning tools:

Looking to install energy efficiency or renewable energy technology?

The Carbon Trust provides information that includes lists of accredited suppliers, guidance on energy saving technologies and how you can finance installation.

The Carbon Trust: Green Business Directory

In Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust has developed the Green Network for Businesses. This tool allows you to search by postcode for green businesses in your area. All these businesses have installed energy saving or energy generating technologies .

Once you identify the business that has installed the green technology you are interested in, contact them to organise a visit.

EST: Green Network for Business

In this Guideline

Benefits of using renewable energy

Generating income from renewable energy

Renewable energy considerations

Wind energy

Biomass and anaerobic digestion

Solar energy

Geothermal energy and ground source heat pumps

Hydroelectric power

Environmental News Blog

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SEPA - Application forms