Power Generation & Climate Change
For large or very conscientious small companies it is worth considering looking at the way that you receive your energy and considering whether you may be able to generate or source your energy in a more efficient way.
Your first step may be to talk to your energy supplier and switch to a plan that ensures that you get your energy from a sustainable source. Many companies provide such services, making sure that your money goes into the running and maintenance of sustainable generators (principally wind and solar generators.
Installing Power Saving DevicesThose who are keen to be ahead of the game energy-wise may wish to install their own wind hydroelectric or solar electricity or heating generators depending on their geographical situation. If you wish to undertake such an ambitious project the Carbon Trust will be keen to help with advice and finance as will private installation companies who will often arrange financial help from a local administrative body. Yet other companies will help you with all aspects of planning regarding your energy needs, from an assessment of the best options for you, to organising a full sustainable policy for your workforce.
You can contact the Carbon Trust for free advice and support on: 0800 -85 2005. The Centre for Sustainable Energy who offer a range of services including help with the development of sustainable energy strategies on: 0117 934 1400.
Sustainable Energy OptionsIt is predicted that in time a significant amount of energy in the UK will be produced from generators installed domestically or at business sites. Whilst there are some incentives to help people install their own sustainable energy generators for businesses, for business based generators to have any real positive impact enthusiasm will have to grow within the business sector itself.
There are undoubtedly incentives to install your own sustainable energy generator at work, not least of all as it dramatically improves your public image (just so long, of course, as you do not build a large scale wind generator that obscures the skyline!). Further to this, if you generate enough energy you can at points sell electricity back to the national grid, providing a valuable service as well enabling you to make money, which makes for an additional financial incentive on top of the money you will make back from not having to buy your electricity from a provider..
The option you go for will depend on where your building is situated. Undoubtedly wind generators deliver better returns at their best, but are no good if your building is sheltered from the wind. Solar energy is possibly the easiest to install especially if you have a roof, or a large open space with direct access to the sun, although note that solar generators (both photovoltaic and heating) are less effective in the winter and are of little use in areas that get very little sun at all. Hydroelectric energy is a viable option if you have natural running water on your land and the returns are good providing the water flows consistently.
Of these three methods, solar is the easiest to install, and with photovoltaic cells falling in price it is surely the type of energy that appeals most readily to those wishing to install an entry level system, which can be easily upgraded with the addition of extra cells. Wind is a wise alternative if you have plenty of wind local to you and providing the generators, which an be visually imposing, do not meet with lack of approval from potential local customers.
On a small scale many electric devices can be run or charged using solar power, and this is one way to ‘do your bit’. For charging mobiles and cameras consider using the ‘Freeloader’ device which simple charges in the sunlight and can then be plugged in to your appliance when you wish to power it up.
With devices like this, as well as wind up appliances, becoming more common there are a wide range of options available to those wishing to generate anything between a small and large amount of sustainable energy, whilst saving some money along the way.