The business case foundation: Overcoming the communication gaps between policy makers, corporate management and engineering

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

Author:
Hannes Mac Nulty, Mac Nulty Consulting, France

Abstract

Energy efficiency has been shown to be largely cost effective and in line with typical industry investment criteria, however, it is still over-reliant on the climate change topic rather than on the business case as an implementation driver. Consequently, energy efficiency is in most cases treated separately from a company’s day-to-day core operations, which in turn reduces its prioritization when competing with other more typical internal investment projects.

Adding to this issue are the communication gaps between the policy makers who develop energy efficiency policies, the corporate management who create a company's energy efficiency strategies and the engineers who have to implement projects driven by these same policies and company strategies.

This presentation will demonstrate how a new and innovative policy approach that moves beyond the more classic mix of incentives and obligations is required to bring about a more acceptable common understanding of the energy efficiency topic, which would improve considerably the ability to achieve tangible results on the ground. Reference will be made to such innovative initiatives as the "Policy Maker Meets the Engineer" project, which brings together policy makers and policy end users (corporate management and engineers) to find common and business orientated solutions to increase energy efficiency uptake.

Rather than just compel or entice industry to implement energy efficiency, there is a need to convince them of the beneficial role energy efficiency can play within their overall business model. Industry is first and foremost about business. Energy efficiency makes financial sense and leads to increased industrial productivity, regardless of its importance to climate change. Convincing industry of this fact is crucial, as is convincing policy makers and supporting organizations to take this fact into account when designing energy efficiency policies and financial mechanisms.

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