A number of London’s SMEs have invested in generating their own energy and even more plan to follow within the next five years, according to a survey.
About 13 per cent of the capital’s small and medium-sized firms now generate at least some of their own energy, higher than the national average of six per cent, Opus Energy’s research found.
The amount of SMEs based in London that could be producing their own energy by 2017 is set to rise to 38 per cent, if they carry out investment plans. One in 10 of London’s firms said they hoped to start generating renewable power on their business’ premises within the next 12 months.
Opus Energy director Louise Boland said: “The majority of our customers generating renewable energy are based in rural areas. It appears that more urban-based companies, including those in London, are missing a trick. Running costs for SMEs based in key cities are going to be at a premium so producing renewable power seems an easy way to generate extra revenue.
“Space for many of these companies will be limited, but options such as solar panels on roofs are ideal. A 4kw solar panel on a small shop roof for example will typically generate and income of £850 per year.”
The survey was carried out last November before cuts were made to the larger-scale solar electricity Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidies by the government. The FiT for all solar electricity generation on a small-scale was also reduced by 50 per cent.
Despite the cuts to subsidies, the chance to create additional income is one of the main motivations for SMEs across the country to generate their own energy. About 42 per cent of small and medium-sized firms said the opportunity to gain a new revenue stream was one of the main factors behind deciding to invest.
Businesses in the South of England, excluding London, were the least likely to currently be generating renewable power on site, with just four per cent of firms doing so at the time of the survey.
But businesses in the rest of the South, the Midlands and Wales were just as likely to adopt green measures within the next 12 months. One in 10 SMEs in each of the regions had plans to generate their own power on site by this time next year.