With ecologically conscious consumers showing a clear preference for the companies they do business with to support their social initiatives, making a renewable energy plan for your business is more important than ever. One of the easiest changes you can make to ensure that, as your company goes green, your bottom line stays in the black, is to compare business electricity rates and plan features to make sure you’re getting a service plan that is both affordable and environmentally friendly. The process doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, by partnering with Vault Electricity for your commercial electric plan, the renewable energy plan for your business will be off to a good start.
The Renewable Difference
By using renewable energy for your business, you’re using energy generation methods that are not only cleaner but can be replenished for long-term sustainable energy harvesting. When you compare business electricity rates among renewably sourced plans, you should be provided a breakdown of the plan’s energy generation source. Right now, there are three main sources of renewable energy generation:
- Wind – Wind energy is harvested by giant windmills, often in plains areas know for their wind or along hills and mountains that allow the turbines to be placed higher. The rotor blades of an industrial wind turbine will have a diameter of 144 feet–or approximately from the 50-yard-line to the endzone on an American Football field–or more. Smaller turbines allow renewable energy for a business to be generated on site.While this provides clean energy, some advocates worry that placement of turbines can be problematic. Some communities feel that fields of large wind-harvesting turbines create an eyesore. In addition, there is disagreement as to how much they threaten local wildlife, such as bird species and bees.
- Water – Water generation relies on currents moving water through generation turbines to create electricity. Water power, which was already in use to drive simple machines, was utilized for electricity generation as far back as the 19th century. While hydroelectric dams are the most recognized generation sources for water-sourced electricity, increasingly natural currents are harvested to have a lower impact on the environment surrounding the generators.While water is a great source of renewable energy for business, hydroelectric generation sites must be meticulously planned and approved for environmental impact on waterways, watersheds, and wildlife. It is also the source most influenced by climate change as water dries up in some areas, redirects rivers in others, and changes the face of wetlands. As a business purchasing electric power, you will not be responsible for compliance, but your sources will be, which can increase costs.
- Solar – Solar power generation is based on harvesting sun’s energy and is an incredibly promising renewable energy source for business use. The sun’s rays are captured by photovoltaic cells which convert specific bands of solar radiation into electricity or the thermal energy is harvested to create steam which drives a generation turbine. While it was once considered too inefficient, scientists have made large strides in solar energy conversion, making it popular for industrial energy generation, localized power generation, and even micro uses, such as in consumer electronics.While solar power usage is increasing, it still holds a smaller market share than other renewable sources. Depending on the type of energy generation used, it can increase localized temperatures at the generation site, worrying some ecologists.
In the US, it’s easy to see consumers are increasingly “buying their conscience” by spending their money with companies that support their social and environmental views. Even B2B suppliers are affected as companies struggle to offer goods through a verified supply chain that is socially responsible, meaning what’s important to consumers must be important to your business, wherever you fall in that chain. 2017 saw the lowest consumption of fossil fuels recorded in America, driven partially by the increasing adoption by consumers themselves of electric and hybrid vehicles. Using renewable energy for your business is a smart change that lets you follow their lead.
Creating Your Renewable Energy Plan
As with any corporate endeavor, it is crucial to have a solid strategy in place to serve as a roadmap to success. Because electricity that comes solely from renewable sources is often more expensive than traditionally sourced electricity, it’s not enough to just switch electric plans. You also need a focus on usage reduction that helps pay for the increased supply costs by keeping your energy costs stable and manageable. Renewable energy usage should be part of a larger, initiative designed to create a lower environmental impact. Start by looking at your current energy usage.
- Evaluate electricity use in your office, manufacturing facilities, and fleet. Each of these areas has particular needs which necessitate different devices and equipment that all use power. While fluorescent bulbs tend to be popular in administrative offices, large halogen bulbs are still heavily used in warehouses and factories. You have to understand your current usage before your business can plan for renewable energy.
- Get buy-in from stakeholders across units. Creating a successful renewable energy plan and green initiative needs to be important to your entire business because it will affect your entire business. Ask for input from all areas about how they both use and can reduce energy consumption. By making all areas a part of the planning conversation, you are giving them ownership over the final initiative and gathering a diverse data set for a decision that will impact the whole company.
- Compare the business electricity rates of available plans offering renewable energy for your business. You’ll want to partner with a company who can offer the power you need at a cost your bottom line can support. Once you factor in your current energy costs versus your projected costs with the new plan, you’ll have a better idea of where you stand on needed usage reduction and the impact that reduction will have.
- Make some strategic changes. Don’t underestimate how much money can be saved by investing in energy-efficient fixtures at your facilities. Low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED bulbs, paperless office systems, and using natural light sources can all add up to big savings. If you use a company vehicle as transportation around a facility or even in your local area, would an electric vehicle be able to accomplish the task cheaper than one that runs on gas?
- Establish accountability at both the local and leadership levels. While leadership will ultimately make the call to use renewable energy for business needs, Oversight doesn’t have to end there. While it’d be ideal for all employees to support the initiative to go green, you need at least one person locally to serve as a touch point for communication and to serve as a change leader through the transition. This not only helps create your new, environmentally responsible company culture, but reinforces your team-wide commitment.
- Constantly reevaluate your position. Be open to change. As you progress, employees should be comfortable coming forward with suggestions. Local and corporate leaders should be on the lookout for opportunities to reduce power consumption while supporting the current initiatives. Renewable energy use for business entities is a fairly recent trend, and advances are constantly being made to help them adjust better, save more money, and have a smaller overall environmental footprint.
Renewable Power Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank
We support our commercial customers becoming environmental leaders in their industries and communities. We make it easy to compare business electricity rates side by side by offering a customized report of your company’s energy usage and needs, our plan recommendation to save you money, and the support of our trained energy professionals. Compare rates online or call 214-446-2210, and get renewable energy for your business with Vault Electricity.