This can be challenging, as you’ll often need to gain buy-in from many of these people – particularly C-suite executives – before any efficiency measures are implemented. However, if you can clearly detail the tangible benefits of the projects you’re looking to execute and answer any questions they may have, you’re more likely to be able to convince them of the value of an energy efficiency plan.
Here are some of the key questions you should expect to be asked when proposing an energy efficiency plan:
How practical is your plan?
When you’re developing a plan to improve the energy efficiency of your organisation, it can be tempting to put forward numerous projects, in a drive to improve your efficiency as much as possible.
However, it’s important to take the time to consider whether you have the resources necessary to carry out your plan. Many energy efficiency projects will require some upfront expenditure, and you’ll need to factor in any associated costs – if you’re looking to install solar panels, for example, you will need to pay for the equipment itself and for its installation. You may have a limited budget to work with, but small changes can make a big difference – and if you can demonstrate a good ROI from a small project, senior executives are likely to be more inclined to invest in bigger projects.
You will also need to think about the time and human resources that will need to be dedicated to any energy efficiency measures you adopt. For example, if a project requires behaviour changes in your staff, they may require training, and you may need to appoint someone to monitor whether staff are implementing new measures correctly.
What are the financial benefits?
This is arguably the most important part of your business case, as C-suite executives will need to have a clear idea of the expected return-on-investment (ROI) before they invest in any energy efficiency project.
So, before you present any energy efficiency plan to senior execs, make sure that it includes a detailed estimate of any financial benefits you expect to see. Some cost reductions might be obvious, e.g. fitting your machinery with controls to reduce idle running will reduce the amount of energy the machines use, which will directly reduce your energy costs. However, you should also think about any indirect cost savings you might see – if the controls cut down the time the machines are running for, they will also extend the life of the equipment, for example.
If you think that the cost of implementing energy efficiency projects might deter your senior management team, you should see whether any of the projects you’d like to introduce are included in the Government’s Energy Technology List (ETL). You can claim 100% of the cost of these products against your taxable profits in the financial year you bought them in.
How will your plan contribute to your wider business goals?
Demonstrating the cost benefits of your energy efficiency plan may be enough to convince the C-suite, but you’re more likely to secure buy-in if you can prove how your plan can help the business to achieve its goals or meet its obligations in other areas, too.
As the UK moves towards a low carbon energy future, we’re seeing more legislation being introduced to encourage businesses to become as energy efficient as possible. The Climate Change Levy is a prime example of this, and as it is set to rise in April 2019, if your business is affected then having a strong energy efficiency plan in place is a good way to mitigate cost rises. If you’re required to comply with ESOS, you may already have some energy efficiency recommendations to hand – if you haven’t already, acting on these recommendations will make the most of the time and effort spent on obtaining compliance.
Being aware of the environmental impact of your business activity is also key for your CSR strategy –becoming more energy efficient will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but it could also boost your brand reputation too.
Expert efficiency advice
When it comes to improving your organisation’s efficiency, it can be difficult to know where to begin – but adopting the right measures and solutions could make a real difference to your energy costs. At Inenco, we’ve been helping our customers to become more energy efficient for over 50 years, so if you’re looking for expert advice, give us a call today on 08451 46 36 26 or send us an email.