Opus Energy research: Renewable Energy Generation Shifts Up A Gear

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New survey shows more and more businesses are looking into generating their own renewable energy.

One of the leading providers of energy to the business sector in the UK, Opus Energy, has carried out research concerning the popularity of renewable energy. The research suggests that from 2011 there has been a growing level of interest among those in the business sector for generating their own renewable energy.

Over one third (39%) of those surveyed said they were expecting to introduce solar panels, hydro power, wind turbines or anaerobic digestion to their business - a 7% increase from 2011. Of those, 48% stated they aimed to be generating renewable power within two years. This is a sharp increase, overshadowing the 26% in 2011 who were looking to introduce renewable power within five years.

A staggering 15% of those surveyed by Opus Energy were already generating renewable power, a 9% rise since 2011. It seems that business owners aged 55+ were leading the way, with 20% of them already generating renewable power on their premises.

Mirroring the survey results, Opus Energy is proud to be experiencing a growing level of interest from companies taking advantage of its renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs). These enable companies to sell back any excess renewable power to Opus Energy in order to generate additional income while boosting their corporate social responsibility credentials.

The three main benefits given by businesses in the Opus Energy survey for switching to renewable energy generation were:

  •     self-sufficient supply of energy (28%)
  •     generation of additional income (23%), and
  •     ‘doing our bit’ to tackle climate change (17%)

Opus Energy proudly announced its 500th renewable generator agreement in December 2012, marking a significant increase in signings to its PPA compared to 2011. Amongst the recent signings is Knocknain Farm in Scotland which sells 100% of its 330KW wind turbine’s power – enough to power 37 SMEs for a year - to Opus Energy.

Another signing from 2012 was with the Port of Milford Haven. This agreement sees Opus Energy purchasing power from solar PV systems across 13 of the Port of Milford Haven’s sites. This includes the Port’s flagship 100.8kW Phoenix Power PV Station - the largest integrated solar PV system in Wales - located on the roof of a tenpin bowling centre.

When asked what would encourage businesses to generate renewable power themselves, the majority of those surveyed highlighted income as their main reason:

  •     a government grant or subsidy to help set something up (52%)
  •     if it could be proven that it would make money (46%), and
  •     if the government introduced extra taxes/penalties for not doing so (23%)

Charlie Crossley Cooke, Managing Director, Opus Energy, comments on the research findings, saying:

“It is great to see companies warming up to the idea of powering their businesses by generating their own renewable energy. The Opus Energy renewables team looks forward to working with companies to help them realise the extra revenue and benefits that they can gain from entering the renewables market.”

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Notes to editors:

  •     Survey based on YouGov data: December 12th, 2012
  •     Field dates: 12th to 19th December 2012, 1000 SME respondents
  •     Knocknain Farm case study available upon request

For press enquiries, please contact:
Ant Moore
FTI Consulting
T. 0207 269 7267
E. ant.moore(at)fticonsulting.com

About Opus Energy

Opus Energy is the UK’s leading business energy supplier. The company was founded by Charlie Crossley Cooke in 2002 and now employs 450 people over its Northampton and Oxford-based offices.

Opus Energy supplies more than 150,000 business locations across the UK with power. Customers include: White Stuff, Paperchase, Stagecoach, Pizza Hut and Virgin Media.

In addition to supplying energy, Opus Energy also purchases power from over 500 renewable generators in the UK which it then supplies to its customers.

The management team has a 50 per cent stake in the business, while GDF SUEZ holds 30 per cent and Telecom Plus Plc has 20 per cent.

For further information about Opus Energy, please visit http://www.opusenergy.com.

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Alexandra Dann
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