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Leicester’s local businesses: now powered by sunshine

Maddie Inglis, Business energy

3rd July 2018

We’re working together with Leicester’s awesome local businesses to power the city with solar energy… sourced just down the road!

We’re so excited to say that Leicester, the stomping ground for 60+ Octopus Energy staff, is once again breaking new business ground. We’ve launched a brand new tariff supplying Leicester businesses with affordable, 100% renewable electricity from a solar farm just a few miles from the city centre. Dubbed Leicester Business Power, this new tariff will support the local economy as well as helping these businesses minimise their environmental impact.

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All of the electricity used by Leicester Business Power customers comes from Seaton Road Solar Farm near Uppingham

We totally love Leicester. Just six months ago, we branched out from our office in London’s Soho and cut the ribbon on our second home, a brand new office in Leicester’s Town Square (now inhabited by a hefty 60-strong team!) Since then, we’ve been so happy watching the city’s entrepreneurialism thrive, benefiting from the wealth of talent that the area attracts thanks to the nearby universities, as well as the collaborative efforts of the council and local business community towards realising ambitious business plans.

This hyper-local energy supply venture is another step in the extensive regeneration story of Leicester and the surrounding area.

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Some of our lovely Leicester lot standing outside the Octopus Energy office in Town Hall Square

Energy fit for a King?

It seems fitting that the King Richard III Visitor Centre is the very first business to take up our Leicester Business Power tariff. The surreal 2012 discovery of Richard III’s grave under a Leicester Council car park, of all places, (and subsequent international release of documentary ‘Richard III: The King in the Car Park’) has skyrocketed the city’s tourism. Today, the legacy of this mad royal story is powered by 100% renewable energy, from the centre’s 3D video shows to their educational workshops – simultaneously celebrating Leicester’s history and helping to set the vision for a greener future.

Iain Gordon, from Richard III Visitor Centre, says: “The King Richard III Visitor Centre is delighted to be one of Octopus Energy’s new partners in Leicester. As a business, we are always looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment and with our energy now coming from renewable sources, this new partnership helps us move closer to that goal.”

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The children of local Spinney Hill Primary School (whose drawings inspired the Leicester Business Power logo pictured below) celebrating our tariff launch at the Richard III Visitor Centre

And more and more businesses are following suit. Each will be given tailored information about the amount of carbon that has been offset as a result of their decision to go green.

That decision will be celebrated beyond the environment, because for every business that signs up, Octopus Energy will donate £25 to Charity Link. This money, in turn, will be more than matched by other charities and funds, unlocking an additional £125 in support for local people in need. The local charity helps vulnerable Leicestershire people - including children, the elderly and those with serious health issues - by making sure their basic human needs are met by supplying them with food, shelter and warmth.

The trial in Leicester illustrates the great potential Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have to help smash the UK’s climate change targets. For starters, there’s absolutely shedloads of these SMEs – defined as fewer than 250 employees, 99% of UK businesses are classified as such. Given how quick and painless going green is these days, it’s clear that local businesses can create real environmental change in the UK through making just a few simple choices.

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Octopus Energy Founder Greg Jackson & Business Director Zoisa Walton celebrating the launch of Leicester Business Power with Susan McEniff of Charity Link and Iain Gordon of Richard III Visitor Centre

We reckon a key step towards encouraging businesses to make these environmentally-conscious decisions will be providing a way to actually see the tangible impact they’ve had. By signing up to Leicester Business Power, companies not only find out precisely how much carbon they’ve saved, but bolster their own economy – supporting a local supplier to provide locally-generated energy, which will lead to our little office growing and growing – as well as actively providing much-needed aid to worthy causes within the community. Which means that when the sun shines on Leicester, local businesses know exactly what that sunshine is going towards.

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Left to right: Octopus Energy Business Director Zoisa Walton, Constantine the fluffy octopus, Octopus Energy Founder Greg Jackson

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