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Can a Business Generate Its Own Electricity?

By Edited Jan 16, 2014 0 0

Yes, most business can generate their own electricity depending on where they are located and how much renewable resources they can tap effectively. If you have a business you can make sure you generate enough energy for your needs without straining your financial resources.

Grid or Off-Grid

There are two energy systems you can use to make sure you have enough energy for your needs; grid connected systems, stand-alone power generation systems

Grid connected systems are used if the energy you generate is more than what you use for your business. Thus the grid acts like back up batteries where the energy could be stored for future use. Stand-alone power generation systems are used when it is impossible for you to have a grid network for various reasons, finances being an important one, or where your energy requirements are more than renewables could realistically provide. Often these include small gas turbine generators.

You can use renewable energy systems such as photovoltaic cells or wind turbines as part of any company energy solution. The more common method is to use these technologies as part of a grid-connected system, making money from a feed-in tariff and using the grid supply when your own resources are inadequate.

Government Incentives

The UK Government has been actively supporting self-electricity generation schemes and makes sure you get all the financial assistance you want when you decide to set up your own renewable electricity generation source.

You could benefit from incentives worth several thousand pounds if the Government approves your Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme request. This is definitely a huge advantage you get when you install your own electricity generation source.

Feed in tariffs not only pay you for the electricity that you export to the National Grid, but also for the electricity that your business uses. So instead of paying your energy supplier your suppler pays you.

Protect Yourself from Electricity Price Inflation

It is obvious to every business owner that commercial electricity prices are all set to witness a huge hike. The return on your investment is likely to be even higher than you expect and will increase every time electricity prices increase.

Improve Property Value

If you suddenly decide to move to another location, the availability of installed self-electricity generation schemes would certainly add to the value of your premises and you could get a higher sale or lease payment.

What Systems Could You Use?

Every penny you spend on insulation will be recovered much faster than what you spend on energy generation, so focus first on insulation and other energy saving measures such as replacing fluorescent lighting systems with more efficient LED lighting.

Ground or air source heat pumps could reduce your dependence on gas or oil-fired heating. Consider installing electric storage heaters to use any excess self-generated electricity that you will be producing.

Solar panels could be used to pre-heat water for any hot water dependent processes or for your hot water system. These do not produce sufficiently hot water for a standard radiator-type heating system, but if you could install under-floor heating it could be used.

Photovoltaic solar panels can turn light into electricity and these are the preferred option by most companies. Installing these on the roof of your premises will allow you to generate most of the electricity you need. Planning permission will not be an issue in most areas, maintenance is zero and they last for fifty years.

Wind turbines are another possibility, but are more expensive in terms of maintenance and installation. Planning permission will also be more difficult if you have neighbours because of the noise and visual impact that they have.

. . .

Any business should be looking to invest its money in self-sufficiency in energy supply. The returns are far higher than most other forms of investment



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