A shake-up of the way businesses sell renewable energy to and buy back from the national grid is being urged by consultancy Climatechangematters.
It wants a change in regulations to allow businesses which use their own off-site renewable energy generators to directly offset their energy production.
It also wants companies to be able to sell renewable energy direct to other firms with minimal charging for using existing infrastructure.
In a report, Climatechangematters said this process, which it has dubbed “remote net monitoring”, would allow businesses to reduce their energy bills, make them low carbon and encourage investment in renewables.
Authors of the report, ‘High Energy Users and Renewables,’ estimate that the change could save businesses between £3 and £10 per MW/h.
Currently, companies with on-site renewable energy generation can directly offset energy use against production, but this is not the case if the energy generation goes off-site.
This means that companies have to sell the energy they generate to the grid at wholesale prices and have charges applied while buying back the energy they use at higher retail prices. The report added that Renewables Obligation Certificates awarded do not make up the shortfall.
Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “We must bring industry and large-scale energy users into the equation. Renewables is not just the domain of specialist project developers or, at the other end of the scale, householders with a panel on the roof.
“Renewables must spread right across the economy. This proposal would enable wider sharing of the benefits of renewables and bring in important new sources of capital.”