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Green options for business

01 Jul 2021

COP26 is fast approaching (the UN Climate Change Conference takes place November 1-12) and with the UK government restating its ambition to cut carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, a number of firms have stepped up to lead the way towards carbon neutrality. Their success will hinge on green energy products being understandable and accessible, says Nikki Flanders, the managing director of SSE Energy Customer Solutions.

“If the UK is going to crack the challenge of net zero, we need firms of all sizes to adopt renewable energy. It’s critical for companies to be able to demonstrate to their customers, shareholders and employees in a transparent way that they’re making this commitment.

“There are numerous ways energy sources can be classified as green, which can cause confusion for customers when figuring out how green their energy is. Transparency is key to informed decision making. At SSE we see it as our job to make 100 per cent traceable green energy accessible to the UK’s 5.6 million small and medium-sized businesses.

“Our energy comes from our 42 UK wind farms and 52 hydro power stations, and its green credentials are verified by EcoAct, an independent environmental consultancy. We produce reliable reports to show that your energy use creates no emissions.

“We’re determined to get all of our customers onto a traceable green tariff as soon as we can. By doing so, we’ll reduce the carbon going into the atmosphere by around six million tonnes every year.

“From July, all customers who sign up to us on a fixed-price contract will be provided with 100 per cent green electricity, powered by our renewable assets. We also offer 100 per cent renewable green gas – again, verified by EcoAct.

“A challenge faced by businesses is how to ‘green’ their supply chain. SSE allows customers to offer our green energy to their partners and suppliers, adding further depth to the company’s net zero credentials.

“And we’re innovating with other products, too. One popular tool among large companies is the corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA). CPPAs enable businesses to buy an agreed amount of electricity from a specific source – from a wind or solar farm, for example – with the price locked in for a specific period of time.

“The challenge with CPPAs is that they can be hard to understand. This means they have remained the domain of large companies. With SSE’s new simplified CPPA product, we’re making these agreements understandable and accessible to all. Our customers can now set an energy strategy for up to five years, buying their energy from a specific wind farm on simple terms tailored to their needs.

“As a company, SSE is investing in the infrastructure required to support UK businesses with 8GW of extra onshore and offshore wind power generation in the pipeline – enough for 1.5 million firms. We’ll continue to listen to our customers’ needs and make traceable green energy and other low carbon solutions available to everyone – from install to supply, generation to plug.”

This article was originally published in The Times.