Three ways small businesses can use renewable energy to their advantage

There’s more than one way that businesses can use renewable energy to give their company a boost. From generating income to promoting a brand-bolstering message, renewable energy might have more business advantages than you previously realised.

We teamed up with our partners at Love Energy Solutions to share some success stories from people who’ve benefitted from choosing zero-carbon energy.

Here are three benefits that renewable energy can bring to your small business, from real SMEs who’ve seen the results.

To generate an extra revenue stream

Choosing to invest in renewable energy can be an easy way to creative passive income for your business.

Ashby Farm is a family business based in Daventry, Northampton, that was looking for a new venture to increase their annual turnover. Owner Roger Ashby turned to renewable energy generation.

A wind turbine generating renewable power in a field of wheat against a blue sky with white clouds, installed by a PPA customer of Opus Energy

“Primarily we farm… we’ve been here for generations,” commented Roger. “Farming is the basis of the business, but we’ve since diversified into renewable energy.”

Roger sought the opportunity to generate extra income for his family business by installing a small-scale wind turbine on his land, which, once installed, generated energy day and night that the farm sells back to the Opus Energy, which then goes back to the National Grid.

“It’s a very good business model… The wind turbine is a great plus for the business,” Roger added. “It’s a great business, because you just rely on the wind, and usually the wind will blow.”

A wind turbine generating renewable power in a field of wheat against a blue sky with white clouds, installed by a PPA customer of Opus Energy

Ashby Farms now also has solar panels and even an anaerobic digestion unit, making use of farm waste. By generating renewable power even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, this farm’s business model is booming.

To strengthen your local community

One innovative community in South Cambridgeshire pooled their ideas and resources together to reduce their impact on the environment while creating something positive for their people.

A line of school children cutting a ribbon in front of a wind turbine against a blue sky. The turbine generates renewable energy that Opus Energy buys.

The Gamlingay Community Wind Turbine was a project that the village decided to collectively invest in. Project organisers agreed that installing a wind turbine would be the best way to proactively give back to the community. Some of the energy would be used to power the village, while the rest would be distributed back to the National Grid and the profits used for worthy local causes.

“The initial reason for setting up the turbine was to reduce our impact on the environment, and we still see that as a huge benefit. But there have also been numerous benefits to the village,” said project organiser, Mike Brettle.

“So far, the local football pitch has new goal posts and floodlights; the library has a new set of children’s chairs; the history society has a new projector; the church had LED lighting installed and conservation work has taken place at Gamlingay Wood,” – all from wind power profits.

The Gamlingay Community Wind Turbine that generates wind power for its village, photographer in a green field in front of white clouds with residents socialising at its base.

This is a great way to take advantage of renewable energy generation if you want to share the upfront resource while bringing communities, businesses and people together.

To demonstrate social responsibility

It’s not just large businesses that have corporate social responsibility as a key business objective.

Whether social impact or environmental awareness is part of your brand positioning, or whether you’re simply the kind of business owner that wants your customers to know that you care about the bigger issues, choosing renewable energy is a very easy way to make your mark.

St. Ascot’s Church is one such organisation that wanted to set a good example while contributing to a brighter, cleaner future.

“Many of us who belong to the church have a good awareness of environmental issues, and we’re committed in taking steps to address them,” explained Assistant Church Warden, Chris Gunton.

Chris deliberately chose an energy supplier that provided more renewable energy within their standard contract, meaning they didn’t have to pay any extra for a cleaner energy supply, but could still relax knowing their energy supply was almost or completely zero-carbon.

“In the future we’re looking to continue our commitment to green energy by exploring LED lighting, destratification fans and replacing boilers,” continued Assistant Church Warden, Chris.

“In the long term we’d also be interested in exploring the option of generating our own power via solar panels or even a wind turbine.”

A great and effortless demonstration of how to use renewable energy to practice what you preach.

Interested in generating your own power?
Visit the Opus Energy website to get started.

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