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Energy diversification – the time is now

It's time to diversify your energy sources

Energy diversification. As the much respected US Engineer W. Edwards Deming once famously said, ‘Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion’.

With so many opinions and counter opinions about the post-Brexit risk to the UK energy supply floating around, what is the best thing to do in the absence of real data? And regardless of this, has your local Council set a carbon-net-zero target earlier than the UK’s 2050 commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement? Plymouth City Council, for example has set their date at 2030.

The question about post-Brexit supply risk arises because the UK imports almost half the gas it consumes via pipelines from Europe. Pessimistic statements like this one reported by the BBC on the 28th June 2019 from Marco Alvera, head of European industry body GasNaturally, point to a post-Brexit potential energy crisis. Original BBC article here.

He told the BBC that EU nations could restrict gas exports to the UK during winter cold snaps in order to prioritise their own citizens, resulting in gas supply shortages. He added that EU nations would also theoretically have the ability to impose tariffs on their gas and electricity exports to the UK, post-Brexit.

It’s not as black and white as this however and what is the likelihood of the EU taking such drastic action as to turn off the taps to the UK, when the political outfall could be huge?

The truth is, that whatever happens to our energy supply post-Brexit, our businesses are going to have to meet the net zero-carbon targets set by Government and the more aggressive targets set by local Councils. Plymouth University have set their own target date at 2025 and are recognised worldwide for their stance on sustainability. More and more businesses already have a business energy strategy to meet these obligations.

There simply won’t be an opt-out option; it’ll be a legally enforceable requirement and if your customers haven’t made it abundantly clear that they expect you to do your bit to tackle climate change, legislation will. It isn’t all ‘stick’ however, and there are real benefits to going 100% green (and every business can do it – it’s not all about buying Solar Panels or other tech, which many businesses can’t fit).

The very minimum this all suggests is getting a fixed term green energy deal as soon as you can, because although it doesn’t guarantee your supply, it will protect you from potential price fluctuations which are already evident. More effective however, is energy diversification – having a business energy strategy and making the switch to renewable technologies and self-generation sooner rather than later. The data for doing this is compelling, optimistic and verifiable.

It is claimed in the RE100 report with Capgemini Invent that the RE100 (companies committed to 100% renewable electricity) consistently perform better than non-members on two key financial indicators: net profit margin and EBIT margin (Earnings Before Interests and Taxes). The difference is significant (up to 7.7 percentage points), and is true across all sectors (most prominently for IT, telecommunications, construction and real estate). You can read or download the Capgemini report here. Energy diversification evidently pays.

The UK is legally committed to becoming a carbon zero economy by 2050 as a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement. With City Councils across the UK promising to deliver this two decades earlier, energy diversification and reducing your carbon footprint and dependence on fossil-fuel generated grid energy is now a business imperative – a strong fact-based signal to the business community rather than anything related to post-Brexit speculation.

Further information on energy diversification, renewables and how we can help in turning your organisation’s green and net-zero ambitions into ACTION here.

To discuss your own business energy challenges, including commercial electric vehicle charging, talk to us now on 01752 26 26 26 or email info@iuenergy.co.uk.

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