Energy is essential to your business, powering your operations each and every day. But supplying you with the business energy you need is an enormous operation in itself. Have you ever thought about where your energy comes from and how it is transported to your business? It’s a complicated operation involving lots of small cogs in the larger energy machine, all working together to ensure that you get a reliable, uninterrupted supply:
Finding the raw materials
Like domestic electricity, business electricity is based on the sourcing of raw materials such as oil and natural gas. The process of finding and extracting these materials is big business in itself, and leads to geographical exploration across the world as the global demand for energy grows.
Using the raw materials
Once these materials are found, they need to be shipped to the suppliers to be refined and converted into energy to be supplied to the customer. These operations are handled by another separate business. Oil is transported across the oceans by super tankers, or in massive pipelines that run to Europe from Siberia or the Gulf. Transportation is a major part of the UK energy process, and the UK relies on almost 40 countries across the globe for the raw materials that are the fuel we need to produce electricity.
Supplying the energy
Once the raw materials are received, they are converted into energy by the suppliers and directed to the customers. A supplier will source the gas used to generate electricity or heat homes and businesses from their own reserves and/or buy it on the wholesale market. They then pay the distribution network owners for transporting it to you, and this cost is factored into the bills customers receive.
Regulating the market
To keep the market competitive and prevent one company holding a monopoly over consumers, the British energy market is overseen and regulated by the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets, or Ofgem. Along with promoting competition, they regulate the companies that run the gas and electricity networks in the UK.
So next time you’re considering your business energy and the processes involved in powering your business every day, think of the incredible numbers of people who are involved in this extraordinarily complex procedure.