Barriers to Energy Efficiency? Here’s How to Fix It

It is not always easy to implement energy efficiency solutions within the corporate environment
Is Energy Efficiency giving you an headache?

Energy Efficiency barriers to implementation of modernization projects are tough to break.

You know you need to do it this time.
I mean, there’s a ton of reasons.

You need to do that technology upgrade.
That compressor served you well for ages, but it’s clearly struggling now.
New production machines will be soon delivered, they need better cooling.

Of course, it’s a big cash out.
Still those energy savings, if confirmed, will ensure a fast return on that investment.

Wait, what if something goes wrong during the process?
Did you do all what you could to find the best technological solution?
WIll your CFO sign it off eventually or the whole exercise will be a total loss of time?

If you are an Energy Manager or a Plant Manager or anyone whose success relies on lowering operational costs, this uncertainty is business as usual.

So you you could try your luck by managing everything alone or you could contact an Energy Service Company.
The ESCO’s core business is getting rid of that uncertainty, while delivering 100% on the efficiency promise.

How? Let’s get to it…

It is working now, I should not touch it

How many times the fear of interfering with a working technology just made you delay a modernization project?

This situation is very common and the doubts are fully understandable.
Many times unforeseen problems in the project mean production delays.
And production delays mean financial losses.

You should look for companies with proven experience in modernization projects, with a track record of successes and with a verifiable list of references.

You need a partner who understands that time is money, that operational safety is the first priority. A company that has done it already, and will do it again.

The Energy Manager has to decide which technological solution will bring bigger energy savings
It is not easy to decide which solution is the best

Is this really the best technical solution?

Let’s face it, you have no chance to be up to date with all newest technologies.

You don’t have time to go to every exhibition in the country.
You cannot read all specialized magazines to find new solutions to your problems.
And above all, would you risk something new on your company?

What you know is the current status of your system.
The final result you want to achieve is crystal clear.
This is crucial information and it is the basis for a successful energy efficiency project.

You need a partner who invests time and resources in looking for new technological solutions, and even more time to validate their results.
Such a partner has verifiable references, pilot projects realized and will not expose you to a not manageble risk. Your failure is also his failure.

It is again the same brand as last time

What a surprise, your historical supplier has come up with a proposal for modernization, guess what, he’s proposing again the same brand of machines!

He claims no one knows your processes better than him, after all he’s been with you for years.
Of course no one can offer a better upgrade simply because what you have now is working, you just need a newer version.

Are you sure he evaluated all possible alternatives and came up with the most efficient guaranteeing the fastest return on investment?

You need a partner that analyzes your current situation, compares it with the desired output and eventually picks the best solution.
This company should independent from a specific technology supplier.
When it chooses the final technology, it is because it’s safer, more efficient and guarantees the fastest return on investment.

The Energy manager cannot be an expert in everything, and it does not matter how he achieves progress
The lonelyness of the Energy Manager

Why didn’t I think about it?!

You are afraid that your boss is going to think you are useless.
He will ask you why you did not come up with that solution in the first place. You are the expert after all.

You still remember when this technical solution was presented to you for the first time, it looked too good to be true.
For a second you even thought about not proceeding with it, just not to be in trouble with your boss.

Finding a new technical solution is a big deal.
If you found one, you deserve being praised for it.
Let your manager know how you arrived to this result, you will never be the loser if you bring value to your company. Don’t let psychological barriers interfere with energy efficiency potential.

Your technological partner understands that a successful project is based on fully transparent communication.
Complete information has to be disclosed.
Potential issues or problems need to be discussed in a transparent way, solutions needs to be agreed and then implemented.
You had courage in introducing a new technological solution, and your partner is there to fully support you.

No one will approve this investment

Oh you really thought you made bingo with this one.
Operational safety would have improved.
The needed cash for the investment would be paid back from the savings achieved.
You prepared the investment memo.
It was sent for approval.
Then you got a phone call from your CFO :”Sorry this cash out was unplanned, we need that cash for the new machine…”

If you wait one year you would be basically throwing money down the drain, you are giving up those savings for a whole year. You need to find a way to overcome this issue. Procedural barriers are often the cause of delays in implementation of energy efficiency measures.

Your technological partner strongly believes in this joint project, you drafted the design together, you prepared all the needed investment documentation.
You are a valuable client and he will finance the whole investment so that monthly payments will be lower than monthly savings.
This will push the project forward without impacting the cash flow.

Are the savings promised for energy efficiency measures real?
The savings dilemma

Barriers to Energy Efficiency: Trust

How many promises from past suppliers were eventually broken. You still have very clear in your mind that project failure where you exposed yourself with the top management.
And now with this solution you should trust the new guys, they say those savings will be 100% achieved.

Are you sure it won’t be another failure?
Should you rather not risk it?
But what if those savings are real, are you ok with giving up such a chance to improve the whole production?

Your partner believes so much in the technical solution proposed, that he will not have any problem in signing with you an Energy Performance Contract or EPC.
Within the EPC, clear rules are stated and agreed in order to calculate how those savings will be reported.
Above all, those savings will be contractually guaranteed by penalties.

You need an ESCO

Don’t let all of this uncertainty influence your judgement.
You are most likely sitting on hidden cash that just needs to be freed.
An old indoor lighting system, a struggling chiller or an overused compressor are basically future positive cash flows.

Did you see yourself in one of the typical situations described above?
Could you think of some project you put on hold because you were overwhelmed by those doubts?
Do you remember that project that was not approved because cash was not available?

An Energy Service Company is your ideal partner to unleash the potential of energy efficiency in your company.
An ESCO will get rid of all the uncertainty that is undermining the right decisions to take, you just need to find the right one.

On a final note, i would really love you to comment and leave your thoughts on the topic. I am sure I left out many other insights, and of course if you find this post useful, please share it with your friends and collegaues.

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