Renewable Energy - The Case for Commercial Advantage

Renewable energy systems are becoming less of a mystery to many in the Construction and Built Environment sector.

To date, there’s insufficient genuine knowledge to take renewable energy properly into account in either refurbishment or new-build projects, and the skills and competency required to install any of the current types of renewable systems are still patchy in the building sector. Clients who request such systems could still be considered as ‘early adopters’.

So why are clients likely to be looking more closely at these systems in the coming years? What is the commercial benefit of Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and biomass heaters all offer alternative solutions to fossil fuels, and can help reduce CO2 emissions from both commercial and residential developments. This, coupled with compliance with any legislation that may be brought in over the next few years, plus schemes such Green Deal and the Renewable Heat Incentive create significant reasons to consider renewables.

They bring financial benefits in terms of running costs both today and in the future. Homes and businesses investing in renewable energy technology today are effectively pre-purchasing energy at current prices for a future where energy is predicted to cost a lot more. If, as is anticipated, fuel prices continue to rise, payback for the client will happen even sooner.

There are other potential commercial advantages as well.

A commercial unit, new or refurbished, which is fitted with a renewable energy source will be more attractive to potential occupants. It will be cheaper to run in the present, and will future-proof tenants from energy price hikes. It may also protect from future energy shortages, thus ensuring a tenant can continue to function when competitors may not be able to.

In addition, in today’s world of corporate social responsibility clients often require businesses to demonstrate they are minimising the negative effects of their operations on the environment. A factory, commercial or retail unit equipped with a renewable energy source would go a long way to achieving such a requirement

Likewise, residential developments and refurbishments fitted with renewable energy systems will compare more favourably in ongoing running costs to other units not similarly equipped, in the same or a nearby location.

So there are clear financial benefits to be had from renewable energy systems in terms of cheaper energy and enhanced marketability of units and developments over local competition that has failed to install such systems.

To find out more about the different types of renewable energy systems the look at other features on or visit the Energy Saving Trust at