Energy Management

Aiming for Company Growth? It Starts With Energy Management

When you think of a fast-growing industry, you probably think of companies that are breaking new ground, developing edgy, innovative new products and expanding into new markets (or looking to do so in the future).

On the other side of the spectrum, companies in what are considered “sleepy” industries tend to operate in more mature fields — such as manufacturing — and produce steady, predictable sales and income.

Among the factors that differ between these two industries, growth is one of the most important. To some, it seems that the more edgy, innovative industries are thriving, while more traditional, mature industries have stalled. Understandably, businesses that are growing quickly attract more attention in the market than those that are stagnant.

For companies interested in achieving meaningful growth — even if they’re in what are traditionally considered “sleepy” industries — strategic energy management can be key.

Often, energy is seen as an expense to be paid, rather than a strategy that can be leveraged to fuel business operations and power growth. But with the right energy management strategy, that’s not the case. Let’s look at two ways sleepy industries can use energy to “wake up” and grow.

1. More Efficient Energy Consumption

Is every piece of equipment at your offices or factories as efficient and effective as it could be?

For many businesses, the answer is often no. Why? Executives and managers are busy running the companies. They’re often not familiar with the innovations that could be used to make efficiency improvements — and don’t typically have the time to do the kind of research that’s involved with large-scale improvements. And even if they do, many believe that they can’t prioritize the funding needed for a modernization project.

What companies fail to realize, however, is that it’s often more costly to continue working with the same inefficient, wasteful gear. Companies that make efficiency upgrades now can benefit in the long run by avoiding unpredictable repairs and high energy consumption — and instead, minimize risk and increase budget predictability.

For example, consider two of the many systems and pieces of equipment businesses of all types rely on: lighting and HVAC. By installing LED lights, companies can improve brightness in their facilities, contributing directly to greater safety and productivity, while using less power. By transitioning to more modern HVAC systems, companies can create more comfortable climates for employees and customers, while — again — using less energy.

But how can companies get around the issue of funding these initiatives? An energy performance contract allows companies to upgrade equipment, including lighting, electric motors and drives, building automation gear, HVAC cycling technology, energy management control systems and more, at no upfront cost to the company.

Companies avoid the upfront expense by using a flexible contract to fund the upgrades incrementally through the savings that result from the energy efficient upgrades. This type of solution empowers companies to preserve capital for immediate expenses, while giving them the flexibility to fund upgrades that can provide long-term benefits.

What’s more, in many cases, the upgrades enable companies to improve performance, whether it’s a matter of quantity of output, quality, or both — all of which can provide additional opportunity for growth.

2. Smarter Shopping for Energy

Companies also can find growth opportunities when making energy purchases. Energy markets are typically volatile and unpredictable. How your company purchases power and natural gas can have major financial implications on your bottom line.

There are a number of proven strategies to better manage risk when buying energy in typically volatile markets. For example, companies can layer procurement by regularly buying smaller portions over time rather than purchasing the full load all at once. This allows companies to smooth out market highs and lows, and reduce the likelihood of an ill-timed purchase (i.e., when prices are highest). This can help promote cost certainty and truer budgeting.

With a strategic energy management plan, you can achieve consistency and a degree of cost certainty. This frees up capital for other uses, like expanding capacity or moving into additional markets to drive growth.

While “edgy” companies may seem like they have the monopoly on growth, there is plenty of opportunity for more traditional industries, too. To learn more about energy purchasing strategies that can help your company grow, contact us.

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