How to Select A Green Energy Plan for Your Business

How to Select A Green Energy Plan for Your Business

Learn how you can switch your business to a renewable energy plan in as little as 5 minutes.

Thad Warren By Thad Warren

If you made the commitment to be a green business, or just want to be a little more green, then signing up for an energy plan that includes green energy sources is one of the simplest ways to take that first step and reduce the carbon footprint for your business.

Before we provide a few tips on green energy plans, let’s first talk break down green energy.

What is Green Energy?

Green energy can be defined as energy that is generated by renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydropower and biofuels. Green energy, also known as sustainable energy, is considered renewable, non-polluting and readily available.

Many energy suppliers offer green energy plans (also known as renewable energy plans) at affordable rates. When comparing a green energy plan to a more traditional energy plan, you may find that the green energy plan has a slight premium. The premium is usually used to offset additional costs the energy supplier incurs to purchase electricity from a renewable source, like solar or wind.

Yet, if you’re goal is to be a greener, more sustainable business, then the long-term benefits of supporting green energy, and the environment, may very well outweigh the short-term costs.

Why You Should Consider Green Energy

In today’s customer-centric world of business, consumers are increasingly looking to do business with companies that have sustainable footprints and responsible business practices. 

In fact, a 2018 Nielsen report on Corporate Sustainability indicates that 80% of consumers, across multiple generations, said that it is “extremely” important that companies implement programs to improve the environment.

Given the heightened sense of awareness and concern about the environment, entire industries – from retail to hospitality – are focused on implementing and improving their sustainable business practices. 

How to Sign Up For a Green Energy Plan

When it’s time to renew the energy plan for your business, the basic starting point is to spend time researching energy suppliers, available plans and current energy rates. When comparing energy plans, it’s important to look for 100% renewable energy plans and then compare the rates to a more traditional energy plan.

If the rate is too high for your business, then a good option for green energy is to look for an energy plan that that includes a specific percentage of energy from renewable sources. Many suppliers offer these types of energy plans.

If you want to take a giant leap into green energy and don’t have access to a green energy plan in your area then you can purchase Renewable Energy Credits, or RECs. A RECs is a bit more complicated than signing up for a green energy plan we recommend a deeper dive to learn more about them. 

As an overview, a REC enables you to buy a renewable energy credit that basically guarantees that the energy for your business was generated from a renewable resource. The interesting fact about RECs is that the renewable energy does not have to be generated in your local area –- the renewable energy can be generated in any state. The idea behind RECs is that it helps support the generation of renewable energy by promoting the fact that it can be used by any business or home in any U.S. location.

Green Energy Considerations

Obviously, any business can manage energy costs and support the environment by being mindful of overall energy usage. Beyond what you do on a day-to-day basis – managing the A/C in the office, controlling lights on timers, using energy efficient equipment etc), you can make a larger impact by switching to a green energy plan in the future. 

As you consider a green energy plan, keep the following tips in mind:

  • When switching to a green energy plans, confirm that the rate is fixed for the life of the contract (avoid variable rates)
  • Ask about buyback programs as some suppliers may provide refunds for energy you do not use
  • Take time to research RECS to guarantee you are using green energy for your business
  • Take the further step to understand the source of your local sustainable energy. And use this information in marketing your business to environmentally conscious consumers who are looking to support sustainable businesses
  • Inquire about green energy certificates or signage that you can display in your business to attract and retain value-based consumers