Why Financial Directors and CEOs should listen to their Energy Managers
It is true that there are some organisations that take energy efficiency very seriously (although the cynic in me suspects that a few are better at spinning their achievements than delivering their commitments) but we know that there are very many that just do the bare minimum to comply with their legal requirements.
Posted on 10 November 2016.
We see it time and time again, Financial Directors and CEOs prioritise investment projects that increase production or cut production costs. Investment projects that improve energy efficiency are low on the list of priorities even though they can have a direct and often immediate impact on the bottom line. They have the added benefit of reducing carbon footprint and supporting CSR objectives.
I repeatedly hear from clients ‘this is not a priority at the moment’, ‘we can’t look at this yet’, and ‘we’ll review this next year.’ Whenever I hear this, I have a mental picture of the army general who doesn’t have time to speak to the gun salesman because he is too busy fighting a battle with bows and arrows! People are running around trying to increase profits and lower costs without considering the obvious cost saving that is staring them in the face. Why?
One of the commonly cited barriers to the uptake of energy efficiency projects is the lack of trust of the level of savings being claimed.
One way to overcome this barrier is by asking for proof of energy consumption savings by using the protocol for performance measurement and verification (M&V) as outlined in the International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol (IPMVP) Guidelines. The guidelines, built with the help of organisations from 16 countries and hundreds of individual experts from 25 nations, provides a consistent, reliable approach to M&V around the world.
Another barrier is the cost of implementing improvement projects, but often improvements can be made with little or no investment. We have delivered energy behaviour training programmes, for example, that have delivered the same energy savings as capital investment programmes but at a fraction of the cost.
Reducing energy consumption should be pushed up the corporate agenda and where there is a good business case for an energy improvement project, it should be prioritised alongside other investment projects.
Jes Rutter, MD, JRP Solutions Ltd
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