If energy costs run between one fifth and one third of total business expenses, why on Earth are organizations paying so little regard to cutting their usage?
While the “low hanging fruit” has likely been harvested; everyone has changed their light bulbs and asked everyone to turn off the lights. It is true significant energy savings abound to those willing to take the next steps, dig deeper, and grab their competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, organizations are simply unable to determine how energy impacts the organization virtually across the board. They’re not in possession of energy saving facts and figures that enable them to begin the process of comparison. They have no roadmap and so do not know where to start.
Chief financial officers might look like deer in the proverbial headlights and will invariably demand a concrete return on investment before they allocate funds for any process of discovery.
Smarter organizations are beginning to understand that they must treat their supplier of energy as a business partner and must develop a relationship that is proactive and a two-way street. No longer should it be a straightforward case of utility provider meeting the demand for a set price, as there are an increasing number of variables to take into consideration.
In far too many situations, the bigger picture is being completely ignored as piecemeal attempts to cut energy are rolled out on a lower management level. They’re not in possession of energy saving facts to enable them to see how a much more focused program could garner significant changes. Often, they are looking for minimal savings without a real budget to invest in true energy management.
The forward thinking organization of tomorrow will treat the utility provider as an energy management partner. They will want to see what the utility provider can do for them in terms of helping them to cut back on their energy use. As we get closer to a truly smart grid we will develop even more energy-saving facts to help us paint a clearer picture. In certain jurisdictions smart meters are soon to be mandated, but the smart business owner should already have installed them.
The assets an organization already own hold the answer. Smart energy management begins with an understanding of how each and every asset requires and then uses energy.
- How does the asset deal with certain situations and circumstances?
- When everything is analyzed in context?
- How does the combined energy load alter according to different scenarios, climates, seasons and so on?
There is a clear path towards true energy efficiency. Each path requires the “inquisitive executives” to take certain steps, like asking the right questions, testing their hypothesis, and finding tools to help derive the right directions to take.
The further the progressive energy manager owner journeys down this path the greater the return on investment from their efforts. This path also reveals intelligent information and energy saving facts that can only help to make even further progress possible.
It might be very difficult to make inroads in any competitive market. As long as that remains the case, very often the only way organizations can make any kind of positive movement in the marketplace is to curtail costs.
When funds are not being called for investment in the development of new business per se, these funds should be invested in real energy management initiatives, with their own considerable returns on investment.