Running a company is no mean feat, and most CEOs are maxing out every potential opportunity to cut costs. Ensuring that your company has a smart energy policy and energy-buying strategy is one of the most impactful techniques to increase efficiency. So why do businesses still treat it as nothing more than a cost line item?
Energy is a complex topic. Yet there are simple, highly effective ways that companies can measure energy consumption, cut their energy bills and shift workplace mindset towards a more sustainable and pro-active approach. Take Cisco Systems as an example. They deployed 1500 energy and temperature sensors on their equipment to measure performance data. The results? Energy usage was cut by a third and the company is saving up to $1 million annually.
While workplace costs such as paper and ink are often closely monitored, many companies are unaware that energy should be automatically included in the cost calculator. We must start thinking about energy at every level and understand how we use it. Taking a cross-company approach and integrating energy accountability into core operations is the first step.
Why not look to the big guns for inspiration? Google, Apple and Facebook are just some of the huge global brands that have integrated energy into their variable costs calculator. They know that sophisticated energy systems drive innovation and keep them up to speed with the latest megatrends, including climate change, new and emerging energy technologies and the rapid evolution of the energy markets.
Before creating and executing your energy strategy, it is essential to understand how energy affects every aspect of your business, even in ways you may not expect. A sustainable commitment is also important for talent acquisition and increasingly factors into how both customers and investors view your company and brand. A brand with a low carbon footprint and a clean energy attitude will always appear resilient in the face of change.
That’s why energy should be top of the agenda for every single business, regardless of size. It offers a key strategic advantage, impacts on overall performance, offers huge opportunities for cost savings and positive CSR and brand affinity.
Consider your energy roadmap as pro-active not reactive to create business value in the short-, medium- and long-term. When designing your strategy, consider your competitors and always work to create opportunity and identify performance drivers. So now we know what needs to be done, let’s take a look at how to implement best energy practice into your company.
Consider the range of renewable energy. With the markets developing rapidly, it is now far easier to find cheaper easy-to-integrate renewables. Examine energy intelligence software platforms, as well as how deployment of smart grid and energy storage can help to boost cost structure and increase resilience.
Develop a global, cross-collaborative strategy based on energy data, performance management and best practice. Include C-suite and cross-functional accountability and involve all key partners along your value chain for the highest-quality results and a unified approach.
Consider energy as a keystone metric, i.e. a key indicator of business success. Integrate it into your risk management and financial strategies. Involve and motivate employees at every level by using energy goals as a driver of operational improvement.
Set realistic energy efficiency and carbon goals, and create a timeline with key targets. Don’t overestimate your performance ability but do be ambitious. Ensure all energy management goals have a solid scientific basis and are not just boxes to tick off. Consider all energy consumption and procurement activities to best manage overall costs.
Consistently track energy data. Conduct data tracking at every level of your organisation using sophisticated tools, metrics and customised technologies to identify how energy impacts on business performance, cost and operational excellence.
Use the best quality energy management system to identify opportunity and break down barriers. This means advanced financing mechanisms that consider all project options and energy signature data to keep the process in line with the most effective energy related initiatives. Where applicable, consider Power Purchasing Agreements, advanced energy storage, control and generation.
Talk about it. It’s not just crucial to track data and identify gaps; it’s also crucial to track your success. Use energy as a way to engage and network with key policy makers and industry figures, and make the most of development opportunities. Establish a logical reporting infrastructure where targets are tracked in line with current regulations, both company- and nation-wide.
For the tips and tools your business needs to achieve optimal energy management, and to get a fresh perspective on energy, just pick up the phone and give Planet9 Energy a call today.