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    With energy prices on the rise, many businesses and homeowners are looking at microgeneration as a way to cut utility bills and improve their environmental footprint. But what is microgeneration and what are the benefits of joining the microgeneration scheme?=

    Our guide covers everything you need to know about microgeneration, the different technologies, and how it can benefit your business. Learn how to generate your own energy and reduce your utility bills.

    Microgeneration technologies

    There are several microgeneration technologies for your home or business to choose from, and some even qualify for grants towards their installation costs from the UK Government.

    Wind turbines: with a similar formation to the huge, industrial wind turbines, but on a much smaller scale, these structures use the wind to turn a generator unit, which produces electricity. Small wind turbines can range between two and eight metres high and the amount of electricity they produce varies based on the strength of the wind and their size.
    Solar: most commonly found in the form of solar panels, these structures generate energy from the sun. Although they can be expensive to install, compared to other microgeneration technologies, they require very little maintenance work and work even on non-sunny days (thankfully, as they’re few and far between in the UK!)
    Bio-energy: renewable energy can be generated from burning organic material, also known as biomass. There are several different forms, but wood logs, chips or pellets tend to be the most common type for small businesses and households.
    Hydro/water turbine: this form of microgeneration technology requires a source of running water, such as a stream or river, which flows constantly. The flow of water turns a turbine, which in turn generates energy that can be used in homes and offices.
    Air source heat pumps: these structures absorb heat from the air outdoors to heat domestic and business water and buildings. Even when outside temperatures are as low as minus 15 degrees, the heat pumps can still work.

    What are the benefits of microgeneration?

    Creating your own sources of energy allows businesses and households to save money on their utility bills. It also allows them to use energy from renewable sources which helps improve their carbon footprint. There is the added possibility to sell excess energy back to the National Grid. The current Feed-in tariff closed to new applicants on the 31st of March, 2019, however it may be worth contacting your domestic and business electricity supplier, as alternative deals may still be available.

    For businesses, microgeneration allows you to improve your green credentials. This is especially important when sustainability values are becoming more important to customers and consumers. In an effort to improve your carbon footprint, businesses can also switch to green energy providers, so all of their business energy will come from sustainable sources, whether that’s through the implementation of microgeneration technologies or green providers.

    energy savings
    multi energy meter

    What is MCS certification?

    The MSC certification is an internationally recognised safety and quality scheme for microgeneration technologies. If you’re looking to install microgeneration technologies into your business or household, particularly solar or thermal panels, then you need to ensure that the company you’re using complies with industry standards and are MCS certified.

    Domestic and business grants for microgeneration

    If you’re interested in using microgeneration technologies to help save money on your home or business gas and electricity, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are various financial schemes to help install these structures.

    Smart Export Guarantee

    This is an obligation set out by the UK Government that all licensed electricity suppliers must offer a tariff and make a payment to individuals and companies that generate and export renewable electricity to the National Grid. This replaces the ‘Feed-in’ tariff scheme. Once the MCS certified solar panels, wind turbines or other forms of microgeneration technologies are installed, your home or business can earn money for the energy generated that you’re not using yourself.

    Green Homes Grant

    This grant helps homeowners with the upfront costs of installing solar thermal microgeneration technologies. The Green Homes grant will pay two-thirds of the costs of the energy-efficient improvements, however solar panels are not eligible under this financial offer.

    Renewable Heat Incentive

    Those who use renewable technologies to heat their homes are entitled to financial support through the Renewable Heat Incentive. Homeowners will receive a quarterly tariff payment for every kilowatt-hour of renewable heat they produce, and these payments continue for seven years. Even better, if homeowners install more than one microgeneration technology, then they receive payments for each system they use.

    Microgeneration is an excellent long-term goal for your business to save money and improve its carbon footprint. If you’re looking to reduce your business energy bills in the short term, then why not contact us and see how much you could save by switching utility providers? Join the other 68,000 businesses who we’ve helped to save up to 45% on their business gas and electricity bills.

    Frequently asked questions

    The energy regulator, Ofgem, will implement a SoLR or “supplier of last resort” if your supplier ceased business.

    No, if your supplier ceased business, your supply will not be cut off. This is because you will be given a SoLR or “supplier of last resort” to ensure you have a continuous supply of gas and electricity. Other suppliers will bid to replace the contracts of businesses that have ceased trading and Ofgem will try to get the best possible deal for the customer in these circumstances.

    Ofgem will be working on finding your new supplier as quickly as possible. This will be announced on their website within a few days.

    Your business contract will now be void and you will immediately be put on an “out of contract” rate which may result in your bills increasing. This will only be the case until a new tariff is agreed.

    In regards to domestic customers, the protection of funds paid by non-domestic customers into their accounts “cannot be guaranteed”. Find out more information here.

    Depending on your new supplier, you will still need to pay the debt to your new supplier if they have agreed to take on customer debts owed to your old supplier. If this is not the case, you will need to set up a payment plan with your old supplier’s administrators that will get in touch with you.

    Businesses that use a smart meter will be appointed a SoLR and will still have access to a continuous supply. Similarly, to traditional meters, Ofgem will quickly find a suitable supplier for the circumstances. If a supplier is appointed but they can’t operate your smart meter in smart mode, it will work as a traditional meter for that time.

    Ofgem advises that you should not cancel your direct debit as your new supplier will get in touch to provide further information on direct debit arrangements.

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