Energy efficiency pays: How to convince your CEO

Panel: 5. Business models, finance and investment in the age of digitalisation

Author:
Stefan Klepzig, Schneider Electric GmbH, Germany

Abstract

Most energy efficiency programs can pay for themselves in just a few years. It’s not uncommon for large multi-national companies to realize 20 percent or more in reduction over time. That’s just the beginning of the potential energy efficiency savings many companies are missing out on simply because they don’t have a shared corporate vision, a clear financial plan or a way to track and verify results.

Launching a successful efficiency program starts with building an effective business case that not only sells the plan internally, but also helps to ensure momentum throughout implementation. Drawing from real-life experience with our clients, we have identified the following key steps to creating an effective business case for energy efficiency.

1. Establish early buy-in starting at the executive Level. Aligning corporate goals with energy efficiency goals is a fundamental first step, as is aligning corporate goals with individual facility goals. This means that all stakeholders — from the factory floor to the C-Suite — must be involved in identifying and prioritizing energy efficiency goals and performance expectations.

2. Map current performance baselines. Companies operating multiple sites will benefit from having an enterprise-view into energy data so they can compare like sites. It is important to establish a process for normalizing energy usage with input from key stakeholders involved in operations and facilities.

3. Develop an opportunity profile. Once you have a comprehensive view into your energy consumption data, you can assess and prioritize savings opportunities for planning and budgeting. Forward looking companies are starting to take an integrated approach, pursuing operational and capital opportunities in parallel and using savings to pay for their efficiency initiatives.

4. Confirm support of implementation owners. Once you have the pan and buy-in, remember to stay in touch to ensure consistent implementation and to trouble-shoot issues early.

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