But as your business and the world around it changes, you could find that the strategy that worked for you last year (or even a few months ago) isn’t the optimum approach anymore. Recent research has also shown that companies are increasingly seeing the potential to gain competitive advantage with a solid energy management strategy, so it pays to continually monitor and review your approach to ensure you don’t get left behind.
Remember that energy management isn’t just about procurement – your strategy should cover all aspects of energy governance, outlining everything from your efficiency plan to your energy budget. Here are our top tips for making sure you have a well-rounded energy strategy:
Use your data
You should already have a wealth of data on your current energy consumption, but are you making the most of it?
If you’re not already creating reports, you could really benefit from doing so. By analysing and reporting on the energy data you collect, you should be able to identify any areas of excessive consumption and create a plan to reduce energy usage in these areas first. Regular reporting is particularly useful if your businesses is required to comply with regulations such as ESOS or ISO 50001, as the reports will give you a good overview of how your business is performing and what action will need to be taken to ensure you’re compliant.
Your energy data can also help you to measure the effectiveness of your energy management strategy – if your consumption continues to rise despite efforts to reduce it, you’ll know that you need to try a different approach.
Explore new revenue streams
There are ever-increasing options for businesses to create revenue if they get their strategy right. With emerging technologies transforming the way we generate, store and use energy in the UK, it could pay to stay up to date with new energy solutions.
Battery storage is one of the most exciting areas of innovation in the energy industry today, and businesses are starting to realise the benefits. As lithium-ion batteries continue to become more affordable – costs have almost halved since 2014 – it will become more economically viable for businesses of all sizes to get involved in battery storage. You should consider whether you could incorporate batteries into your energy strategy, particularly as non-commodity costs are set to rise dramatically (find out how your energy bills could be affected with our interactive Non-Commodity Cost dashboard).
With batteries onsite, you could avoid the excess charges associated with the Capacity Market, DUoS and Triads by switching to stored energy during peak demand periods. You could also store energy when energy costs are low, for use when costs rise again, which could enable you to make substantial savings.
Consider demand management
Demand management should be a part of your energy strategy, no matter how big or small your business may be. If you’re able to manage your consumption during times of peak demand then you can reduce your energy bills substantially, so demand management shouldn’t be an afterthought.
You don’t have to have on-site generation or high consumption to be able to save by managing your demand. Peak demand periods are typically between 4-7pm in the winter months – could you change your operating hours to shift your production to times of lower demand? If you can’t stop production completely during these hours, simply reducing your demand as much as possible will lower your bills. Remember that straightforward measures like switching off lights and machinery when not in use will make a difference to your demand and your energy costs as a result. Incorporating these practices into your energy strategy is important to ensure that they are carried out.
If your business does have flexible assets, you may be able to participate in Demand Side Response (DSR) schemes. Getting involved in a DSR scheme will require an airtight energy management strategy, as navigating the different opportunities can be complex, and if you’re chosen to participate in a scheme, you will need to fully understand when and how to reduce your consumption or you could face hefty fines. However, if you do participate you could see considerable returns – on many of the schemes, National Grid will pay your business simply for being available to turn your consumption up or down during a particular period, even if you’re not called on to act.
Crafting your optimum energy strategy
It’s clear that there are many benefits to optimising your energy strategy, as a solid plan for energy management in your business will enable you to control your energy costs and take advantage of opportunities to save or even earn revenue.
But creating a strategy that works for your business can be time-consuming and complicated, particularly if you don’t have in-house energy expertise. That’s where Inenco can help – our years of experience in the energy industry, along with the specialist tools and modelling software we use daily, mean that we can make well-informed recommendations on the best strategy for your business’s unique needs. If you want to get the maximum value out of every kWh you use, talk to us about how we can optimise your strategy today – give us a call on 08451 463626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.