Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Before switching to renewable energy, make sure that you have done all you can to reduce your need for energy in the first place. This will ensure that the energy you do use has the lowest environmental impact.
Once you have reduced your need for energy you can consider which renewable energy options are appropriate to meet your requirements.
If you choose to generate your own renewable energy, you will first need to select the best technology to meet your needs. You should consider factors such as:
Once you have identified the appropriate technology, you will need to carry out a feasibility study. This will assess the practical aspects of installation, such as technical, economic and environmental performance. Feasibility studies are usually undertaken by a specialist renewable energy consultant.
You may also find it useful to speak to:
You can find a list of accredited installers and products on the Microgeneration Certification Scheme website.
You could become involved in a large off-site project such as a wind farm or discuss joint renewable energy projects with other local organisations.
You could get your energy supply on a green tariff from a supply company that takes extra steps to reduce emissions from the gas or electricity it sells and gets a higher percentage of energy from renewable sources. Green tariffs may cost slightly more than a traditional tariff and the additional carbon benefit of green tariffs is not wholly clear.
Ofgem, the energy regulatory body, has introduced a scheme to certify green tariffs. To get the 'green energy certified' label, the supplier has to demonstrate that:
You will not require planning permission from your local area planning office for all renewable energy projects. In some cases permitted development rights may apply that remove the need for permission, provided certain criteria apply.
If permitted development rights are not available then your development may still go ahead provided you obtain planning permission from your local area planning office. You should discuss your ideas with your local area planning office before undertaking any project.
You will not require planning permission from your local authority for all renewable energy projects. In some cases permitted development rights may apply that remove the need for permission, provided certain criteria apply.
Permitted development rights for non-domestic premises are currently available for:
Additional permitted development rights may also be available for agricultural and forestry businesses.
If permitted development rights are not available then your development may still go ahead provided you obtain planning permission from your local authority. You should discuss your ideas with your local planning department before undertaking any project.
You can find details of permitted development rights for renewable energy projects in the relevant planning legislation.
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.
Renewable energy considerations
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