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Tim Wynn-Jones. Image: Centrica.
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Building back better: Why energy solutions will help support a green recovery post-COVID

Tim Wynn-Jones. Image: Centrica.

The coronavirus pandemic has shed new light on the climate crisis. Cleaner air, burgeoning urban wildlife and our sudden, dramatic shift to less carbon-intensive lifestyles during lockdown have revealed what can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time when it comes to emissions.

The Government’s commitment to Build Back Better in a cleaner and more sustainable way makes it clear that concern for the environment is at the forefront of plans for a recovery from Covid-19.

Businesses have an essential role to play in this transition. But the last few months have been challenging to say the least and, with cost reduction and improving resilience currently business-critical issues, firms could be forgiven for shifting investment in energy efficiency and carbon-saving technology down the priority list.

For businesses struggling to balance this need to transition to a more sustainable future while preserving a solid working capital position in the immediate term, financed energy solutions can play a role.

Flexible solutions

Since the easing of lockdown we’ve seen increased appetite for energy solutions that allow businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt modern energy technologies without the need for upfront capital expenditure.

Our new Energy as a Service (EaaS) bundle was designed specifically for firms looking to take investment in energy saving technology off their balance sheet and help to guarantee cost savings at this crucial time.

A fully managed service

The EaaS model allows businesses to unlock the benefits of generating power on their own premises through one, fully financed package.

Typically, an EaaS partner like Centrica Business Solutions will design, install and maintain energy solutions, as well as manage usage, to deliver guaranteed savings on both energy costs and emissions. They will also supply imported top-up electricity and gas to the customer’s premises, ensuring the overall power mix is optimised.

This type of financing means projects are repaid from the energy savings made over the contract term, although energy cost-savings can be realised from the outset.

EaaS deals typically include the operation and maintenance of on-site generation technology, such as combined heat and power units (CHP) or solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and offer businesses a range of benefits over and above energy bill reduction. On-site generation allows firms to improve their energy resilience as a result of being less reliant on grid power, and can dramatically improve CO2 emissions performance if renewable generation is integrated into the mix.

By helping with the upfront investment in advanced energy technology, the use of EaaS can support businesses in achieving improved energy security as well as cost and carbon savings. The added bonus is that it also allows businesses to treat energy as an asset that can be sold for profit, opening up completely new revenue streams.

This type of financed energy solution will support British businesses in building back better, helping them transition to a sustainable future while benefiting not only their bottom line, but the environment.

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Contributer

Tim Wynn-Jones Head of Consultative Solutions at Centrica

Tim Wynn-Jones is head of Consultative Solutions at Centrica.

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