How to turn your firm into a green machine
BUSINESSES heading in the green direction need to get their thinking caps on and explore their options.
With financial benefits springing up in various forms and attractive environmental positives, experts from the renewables sector gathered at the World Trade Centre Hull and Humber yesterday to help local small and medium-sized enterprises separate the fact from the fiction about the renewables industry.
According to Emily Reid, of C02Sense – a not-for-profit low-carbon expert company – businesses thinking of going green first need to make some calculations.
She said: "The first place to start if you are thinking of using renewable electricity is to reduce your energy use as far as possible.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Collect data on how much you are using and look at the anomalies. Why does usage perhaps go up at certain times?"
She advised businesses at the event, hosted by Yorkshire energy Partnership and Investors In The Environment, to fit insulation as a starting point to ensure heat doesn't escape through the walls.
According to the industry expert, location is key. From heat pumps to an anaerobic digestion facility, business people learned about a number of viable renewable options.
Mrs Reid said: "A lot of businesses are now looking for the next stage but companies need to look at where the technology can be located.
"You have got to think about the planning issues and about how near you are to residential properties."
Taking into consideration the size, noise, visual effects, existing infrastructure and transport access were just some of the key points businesses were urged to consider.
For example, those planning on installing solar photovoltaic panels need to make sure they are south-facing and, according to Mrs Reid, 20 degrees to 40 degrees is the optimum angle to face at.
Businesses were also persuaded to look at the cost savings.
Although recent changes to subsidies, such as the feed-in tariff (Fit) for solar, have left some firms unsure about the benefits of adopting new environmental technologies, they can still bring big benefits to a company's bottom line.
Mrs Reid said: "The Fit provides a fixed payment for everyone.
"Some renewable technologies may give you payback quicker than others but for many businesses it is often a long-term investment."
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) policy is for technology such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.
Mrs Reid said: "The payments are dependent of the type of technology you have. There are a lot of changes to these incentives, so it is important businesses keep an eye out for changes that are happening."
The renewable revolution is rapidly under way with many businesses in the region.
Sue Lamb, of York firm Solarwall, said that with renewable energy, there is a revenue stream for businesses with the Fit and the RHI.
She said: "By using renewable energy, you will also improve your business's credentials and it's important to show other businesses what you are doing for the environment."