For instance recently Europe’s leading electrical, electronic and industrial components distributor, RS Products, released the results of a survey they conducted to discover the driving force for businesses to become more energy efficient.
The survey revealed, not unsurprisingly, that cost saving was the primary reason for energy efficiency. Legislation, compliance and carbon footprint reduction all play a part, but hard business decisions are ruling the day as far as energy conservation is concerned. Within the current financial climate saving money has set many enterprises along the energy saving path.
RS Products’ Neil Harrison talked just about the effect of energy efficient lighting solutions:
“The study’s findings suggest that implementing energy efficient lighting solutions delivers significant cost savings through energy reduction, improves carbon footprint and is able to return the business’s investment largely within 12 months, and in many cases within a 3-month timeframe. Hopefully this industry evidence will help [energy] managers to secure the budget they need to deliver a positive impact on the business.”
With such a suggested short return on investment many would say making energy saving decisions should be a no-brainer – and he was just talking about lighting, the savings could be greater in other areas. It is never that simple though foe businesses to change habits – but they need to think of the money!
On the climate change angle with a profitability message, the US National Small Business Association also released a report showing that small businesses in the States collectively could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 259 million tons each year if they improved their energy efficiency by just 25 percent. NBSA president Todd McCraken stated the following:
"This report obliterates that old paradigm that environmental conservation is anathema to economic growth. Quite simply, small businesses can increase their profitability while reducing their carbon footprint."
Information that all commercial enterprises need to heed – but is retrofitting the answer to energy concerns?
There is plenty of emphasis on governmental and large corporate investment in new power sources, wind, nuclear and carbon efficient traditional power stations. These may be needed in the future but as I have reported elsewhere (energysavingblog) energy efficiency is low lying fruit, as far as saving and using energy is concerned.
With this in mind I found an interesting quote in the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee. The paper ran an article on a report from the Energy Centre of Wisconsin, the paper stated:
Customers would save on energy efficiency compared with building power plants, she said (Susan Stratton ECW’s Executive Director), citing a new nuclear plant as an example: A new nuclear plant generating 1,000 megawatts of electricity would cost customers about $900 million a year.
Saving that much energy through compact-fluorescent light bulbs would cost about $200 million a year, she said.
"A nuclear plant could be displaced by 67 million CFLS operating around the clock for about one-fifth of the cost," she said.
Interesting – at a time when businesses are looking for investment should these major projects for new power facilities be started?
There are many factors regarding these major capital developments; they do stimulate the job market, the local economy if not the greater economy, we are also running out of energy options, then there are concerns for energy security. All valid reason to invest in major power projects, but there is usually a long run-in for these major works to get started let alone completed; in the meantime we can ease many of the above concerns by becoming more energy efficient.
All businesses can save substantial amounts of money, money which they currently pay to the utility companies; they can reduce their effect on the environment and reduce the increasing demand for more and more energy – surely a no brainer but we do need to engage the brain to act.