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Businesses will still save money with green energy

Businesses in the UK could still make substantial savings on their commercial electricity bills by installing green technology, despite recent reductions in government subsidies.

Many small and medium-sized firms would be significantly better off by joining the government's Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme. Businesses should not be deterred from installing solar panels and other forms of green power just because the government reduced the subsidies FiTs paid to households and businesses on August 1st 2012.

Some businesses believe it is no longer worth their while joining the scheme, but nothing could be further from the truth. The FiTs have gone down but so has the cost of the technology, so investment returns of 8 - 10% or more are still achievable and many businesses will still be considerably better off by participating in the scheme.

We can advise businesses on the benefit of joining the FiT scheme...

This coincides with the launch of a new partnership between the Energy Advice Line and alternative energy provider Save Energy UK, which will advise firms on the benefits or otherwise of joining the FiT scheme and arrange the installation of the most suitable green technology.

Under the FiT arrangement, households and firms are paid to generate their own electricity from solar, wind or other renewable sources. Payments are made for the electricity produced, even if the household or business uses the electricity themselves. A separate tariff is paid for excess energy exported to the national electricity grid.

Installing solar panels will reduce the businesses exposure to volatile market...

Installing solar or wind power will not be right for every business, but by going down this track many organizations will save money on their commercial electricity bills, and reduce their exposure to the volatile retail energy markets. Firms that generate at least some of their own electricity will have lower energy bills, which is a key consideration when prices are continuing to rise.

Mike Davies, commercial director of the Save Energy Group, said the FiT scheme enabled firms to stay in control of their energy costs, save money. and reduce their carbon footprint. The average payback period after investing in green technology like solar panels was six to eight years, with most firms seeing a 8 - 10% return on investment, sometimes more, depending on the location and the type of technology.

All businesses should consider renewable energy...

All firms really should consider producing their own energy, regardless of how small they are, because the government is offering financial incentives for them to do so. Firms need to assess whether they could save money by joining the scheme, and if so, how much.

Also, most of the installation work is done on the outside of the premises so there is usually very little disruption to a business. The tariff is then paid straight into the business' bank account every quarter, or offset against their electricity bills. There is actually very little effort to set this all in motion.

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Unfortunately, business energy customers in the UK are bombarded with cold calls on a daily basis. Prices offered are usually more than 20% - 30% above the current retail prices for electricity and gas.

At Energy Advice Line we strongly advise customers not to accept these offers. Join our campaign here, and spread the word to say 'no' to cold calling on business energy.