A recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests that local businesses and consumers can benefit greatly from renewable energy subsidies. The report, which comes from a CBI energy conference, raised question to whether or not the “big six” UK energy suppliers prevent effective competition in the UK energy market.

The report states that cities account for two-thirds of the world’s energy consumption, along with 70 percent of global CO2 emissions. With this statistic the IPPR suggests that energy policies should focus more heavily on cities that have the ability to make a difference in energy consumption and emissions.

Alternative energy is not as cut and dry as the current dominance of centralized generation and distribution of power. Solar power, wind power and hydropower are changing the game drastically, making the energy market increasingly diverse and competitive.

The report claims that several UK cities have already started to make the shift towards renewable energy. Bristol, for example, is planning to install solar panels by 2020 and Aberdeen plans on running its buses off of hydrogen produced by using spare energy from wind farms. The IPPR fully supports alternative choices and would provide consumers with more diverse options than just the “big six” suppliers.

This is good news for consumers with high energy bills as shifting to renewable energy sources can help bring down bills to more affordable prices. But lowered bills aren’t the only benefit; money spent on energy payments will be reinvested locally, enabling consumers to better understand where their energy is coming from.

The IPPR concluded that small-scale renewables with lower operation costs allows power to be generated and stored at a more localized level. This gives individual households, local communities and cities the ability to fight back against the daunting “big six” with their own green energy solutions.