UK companies are missing out on significant business benefits from purchasing renewable energy, according to a report published today by SmartestEnergy.

The report, ‘Business and the Renewables Revolution’, said buying renewable power is the quickest and most cost-effective way for most organisations to cut their carbon footprint, while adding less than 1% to bills.

Citing research by carbon management consultancy Carbon Clear, Smartest Energy said 74% of the UK’s 100 biggest companies have set carbon-cutting targets, yet only 38% of the FTSE 100 purchased renewable electricity in 2015.

The private sector uses more than 56% of all power generated in the UK so businesses have a major role to play in meeting national climate change targets, it added.

“Smart companies should rethink their energy supply and understand the benefits that switching to renewables can bring to their business, to the economy, and to tackling the global threat of climate change,” said Smartest Energy chief executive Robert Groves.

Confusion over buying renewable electricity has held business back, according to the Aldersgate Group. It called for clear labelling of the carbon content of electricity and calculated that the measure could see low-carbon power provide nearly half of all industrial and commercial demand by 2020, up to 48.3% from 14.4%.

In response to this business demand, SmartestEnergy has developed a suite of 100% renewable products with the UK’s first energy labels clearly stating the source and carbon content of electricity.

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