arrow_back_ios Back View more articles
CBI deputy director general Katja Hall addresses the Energy conference

Serious about cutting carbon? Switch to green power, business leaders told

British businesses that are serious about cutting their carbon emissions and supporting the shift to a low-carbon economy, should consider switching to a renewable electricity supplier.

That was the message from Juliet Davenport, founder and CEO of Chippenham-based Good Energy to the The Confederation of British Industry’s Energy Conference last week.

Juliet cited a league table which compares the fuel mix of large and smaller electricity suppliers. Good Energy tops the list, being the only company to offer a 100 percent renewable fuel mix – with electricity supplied only from British sun, wind and rain.

“Businesses that are serious about moving to a low-carbon model should consider switching their business electricity supply. Emissions from electricity are a major contributor to climate change, as well as to a business’s own carbon footprint,” she told delegates.

“My message to business leaders here today is to lead by example by switching to a cleaner, greener supplier that is competitively priced.

“Not only will this reduce your business emissions, but it could help you to broaden your customer base, increase your brand value and boost competitive advantage. Green electricity tariffs are a golden opportunity for businesses.”

Business leaders and politicians gathered to debate the future direction of UK energy policy and what it means for industry, with a focus on energy security and cost.

It came as a poll for the CBI – which represents over 250,000 public and private sector companies – showed that 95 percent of business leaders surveyed think that energy security is important, with 60 percent saying that the low-carbon transition will lead to long-term economic opportunity.

Seventy per cent of businesses rated tackling climate change as important for the UK.

Katja Hall, deputy director general of the CBI, told used the conference to warn politicians that short-termism is distorting the energy debate, risking investment and opportunity.

In order to achieve a secure, affordable and sustainable energy mix, she called for political parties, businesses and government to be rediscover the common ground and think about the long-term goals, she said.

Katja called for an honest conversation about future bills and how to protect business and consumers from their impact, highlighting energy efficiency as the missing piece of the puzzle.

She argued that the piecemeal approach currently being pursued isn’t working, and that energy efficiency needs to be discussed as a critical investment in the UK’s infrastructure.

“With profits very much under the spotlight, it’s important to remember that companies need to make a fair return in order to make the investments we so desperately need. But it’s right to demonstrate to consumers that there is nothing to hide,” she said.

The conference also heard speeches from the secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey MP, International Energy Agency chief economist Dr Fatih Birol, and shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change Caroline Flint MP.