How utilities companies can take the lead on going green by adopting a paperless approach.

How utilities companies can take the lead on going green

The UK's utilities industry is currently under a great deal of pressure.

Energy firms in Britain have been tasked with making sure that at least 20 per cent of the country's power is obtained from renewable sources by 2020 and with under five years left to meet this target, the pressure is mounting.

This requirement has come from the EU, which wants to make sure Europe is the cleanest region in the world in terms of energy production and usage within the next few years.

According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics back in February 2015, some 15 per cent of the UK's electricity production could be attributed to renewable sources in 2013, indicating that the country is on track to meet the target set by the EU.

But funding cuts are having a significant adverse effect on the utilities sector and its ability to provide the best possible service for consumers.

Now, more than ever, it is vital for utilities companies to be showcasing their credentials and proving to the government as well as their customers that they can lead the way when it comes to being environmentally-friendly, with adopting a paperless approach one way this can be done.

Funding cuts

Despite the enormous push on lowering the UK's carbon footprint, utilities companies and related initiatives are beginning to suffer significantly due to government funding cuts.

For example, the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Green Deal scheme is starting to crumble, with the finance arm attached to it ceasing to take new business orders as of July 2015.

The scheme offered UK residents and businesses the chance to improve the warmth and carbon footprint of their properties via the installation of environmentally-friendly measures, such as solid wall insulation and upgraded boilers, but only 177 were installed in October, marking a significant decrease from July's 1,763.

Elsewhere in the sector, the so-called Big Six utilities companies have voiced their concerns about the level of government uncertainty surrounding the policies that affect them, which they believe is having an adverse impact on their relationships with investors.

This uncertainty is also affecting them from being as green as they could be and could potentially hinder firms from meeting the EU's 2020 renewable energy target.

In light of everything that's going on in the industry, how can utilities companies take back a certain degree of control and lead the way when it comes to going green?

Going paperless

One easily manageable and sustainable way is by going paperless.

The majority of utilities organisations now offer their customers the option of paperless billing, whereby they receive their bills via email rather than through the post, which has benefits for the environment as well as making it easier for people to keep track of their bills in our increasingly digital world.

But it's not just on a consumer-facing level that utilities companies should be adopting a paperless approach. If energy firms are not embracing an environmentally-friendly stance in-house, can they be truly seen as leaders in the green industry?

Embracing document scanning technology and the cloud should be the first steps on this journey. These can help to revolutionise a filing system, significantly lowering its carbon footprint, while making it much more suitable for the modern digital world.

What's more, research shows that consumers care about how environmentally-friendly brands are and whether or not they are impacting on climate change, with some willing to pay more for services as long as they are green.

This indicates that utilities firms that publicly commit to making their internal operations paperless can potentially increase their reputation and subsequently their income, which in turn could help them further on the road to meeting the EU's 2020 energy targets.

Contact us today to find out more about how going paperless can benefit your organisation.

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