With 2017 just around the corner, it’s time again to think about New Year’s resolutions. While your personal goals may revolve around staying fit, quitting bad habits or spending more time with family, the year’s end is also a perfect time to reflect on your business’ progress over the past year and set goals for the future.
“Most business owners want to set goals that will help their business grow,” says Karl Shaw, COO of TPI Efficiency Consulting. “Leaders looking for achievable, measurable ways to make their business more profitable and easier to manage in 2017 should remember to include energy efficiency.”
Smart Business spoke with Shaw about energy initiatives and purchasing strategies to help your business thrive in the New Year.
What energy goals should organizations set to increase profits this year?
- Goal One: Investigate your current energy costs. Electricity costs are typically one of an organization’s biggest monthly operating expenses. In many cases that’s an immediate opportunity to reduce your spend by 5 to 20 percent. For some industrial businesses, the energy used for production can even exceed 70 percent of operating costs. The first goal for an energy-efficient new year definitely should be to reduce the cost of the power you’re using today by negotiating a favorable rate and term.
- Goal Two: Investigate advanced purchasing strategies. Most businesses buy energy at a fixed price. That strategy is often 10 to 15 percent more expensive to large consumers. A fixed price contract might be effective for a pizza shop, but it probably isn’t the right solution for a manufacturer using over 1 million kilowatt hours per year. Larger users, you have more purchasing options that utilize market fluctuations to your benefit, protect you from volatility and allow you to take advantage of lower prices when they’re available. These advanced purchasing strategies can be a bit tricky to navigate on your own but they are easily executed by a qualified energy broker at no out-of-pocket cost.
- Goal Three: Get that LED project rolling. Not only do LED systems create a brighter, safer, more efficient workplace, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, modern LED bulbs are up to seven times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, cut energy use by more than 80 percent and often last more than 25 times longer. LED lamps and controls also eliminate replacement and labor cost, making them one of the easiest, most affordable ways to lower your energy bill for 2017, and for years to come.
- Goal Four: Take advantage of the various efficiency programs available. LEDs practically pay for themselves. Not only have their prices dropped over the last few years, there are also a variety of government programs available including rebates, rider reductions and tax credits to improve your ROI. Rumor has it 2017 will be a good year for rebate availability, so get your paperwork filed early to take advantage of new programs as they become available.
How can companies ensure their energy efficiency program is successful this year?
The energy market can be confusing to the casual observer and capital projects may be difficult to deploy, but there is no need to face your energy efficiency goals without some assistance. The improved ROI and increased net savings gained by working with a skilled procurement consultant will always pay off. Quality consultants aren’t just contract negotiators or project managers, they offer new ideas, insight to current industry trends, vetted suppliers and access to a network of experienced professionals that serve as an extension of your team.
With some strategic assistance, 2017 will be the year your company uses energy efficiency to find untapped cash flow and make facilities improvements that deliver safety and increased profits.
Insights Energy Solutions is brought to you by TPI Efficiency Consulting