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Renewable energy increasingly powering SMEs

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Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are increasingly using renewable energy sources to power their own operations, new research has found.

Having solar panels installed onto roofs and utilising anaerobic digestion technologies are becoming more popular, according to a study conducted by Opus Energy, reports Edie Waste.

A third of those surveyed said they intended to introduce environmentally friendly methods of producing energy into their businesses.

Charlie Crossley Cooke, managing director for Opus Energy, told the news provider: “There’s real dynamism in the SME sector from people who are genuine entrepreneurs and we expect to see more examples of SMEs powering other businesses as well as their own.”

A further 38 per cent foretold their firms generating their own power from such methods by five years time.

The price of energy is of growing concern for many businesses, especially SMEs, as it can be one of the biggest costs after wages.

42 per cent of those thinking about investing in renewable energy generation said that it was due to the prospect of making extra revenue out of it.

More businesses are likely to be tempted to make the move if evidence is supplied that it will save them money in the future and could provide extra income for companies.

The research also found that 59 per cent of SMEs said they would be interested in generating their own energy if the government subsidised schemes to facilitate changes.

Mr Crossley Cooke said: “With so much talk around the consumer energy sector, we need to be championing the cause for business. We need more carrot than stick when it comes to the government’s intervention in renewable energy generation.”

British Gas has recently launched an initiative entitled Business Energy Insight which aims to help UK companies save energy.

Part of this process involves supplying them with smart meters in order to prove exactly how much energy is being consumed.