5 steps to getting energy into your business strategy

Office energy business strategy - E.ON
Posted 08/08/2017 by E.ON

Conventional thinking tells us that energy in business is a bill to pay – an overhead that needs to be monitored, but something that isn’t really part of wider business strategy. A crucial – albeit expected – supply that keeps your business operating.

But what if you can turn your business’s energy consumption into an opportunity?

There can be real benefits to thinking strategically about energy efficiency in your business. We take a look at the steps you could take to help your company make gains:

Step 1: Stay in the know

Keeping engaged with your contract and usage is the first step to truly understanding your energy needs, and ultimately, where business gains exist.

Negotiating the right energy contract for your business is crucial, but it’s only the beginning of what we consider to be a series of business opportunities.

We encourage customers to use E.ON Optimum, which allows you to see real-time energy usage, identifying when and how energy is being consumed.

Retail energy business strategy - E.ON

Step 2: Sweat the small stuff…

Thinking about where small, but highly efficient investments can be implemented. Things like low-energy lighting, and the ability to switch off a heavy plant intelligently, can make significant cost savings in the long-term.

…and see how it delivers

One of our long-term business customers, the fruit and vegetable producer Flavourfresh Salads, has seen a boost to its business thanks to a new approach to its energy strategy.

The producer employs around 300 people, and has complex seasonal demands on energy usage for its 30 acres of greenhouses, which had cost around £2m a year in electricity and gas.

"E.ON has been helping us keep our energy costs down for a decade,” says nursery manager David Barker. “We’ve invested in measures to reduce energy use and generate our own power too, including thermal screens in glasshouses, LED lighting, solar panels, biomass and recycling irrigation water. We’ve cut costs - and our customers promote us as a benchmark for sustainability.”

Step 3: Look at the bigger energy picture

Have you ever considered the difference between energy supply and an energy solution?

Looking at consumption holistically will usually surface some kind of opportunity, especially for companies with high levels of energy usage.

Being aware of any waste that exists within your energy usage can help to identify where your business could benefit. Combined heat and power plants and waste-heat recovery equipment can reduce material demands, while providing energy for the business – plus potentially extra to be sold on for profit.

Research by the Carbon Trust found hospitality businesses can reduce energy costs by as much as 40% through maximising energy efficiency, meaning that a well-implemented energy strategy can provide a doubly appealing influence on a business’s revenues.

Energy in warehousing - E.ON

Step 4: Consider the commercial benefits of going green

Our 2016 survey into hotel energy provision found that nearly half of guests said the sustainability and energy use of a hotel was important to them.

Customers are becoming increasingly aware of a business’s green agenda. A new kind of corporate kudos is emerging, making the businesses that consider the environment as a key focus area more attractive to the consumer.

Step 5: Do your research and discover the best fit for you

Cutting down waste, using smart technology to manage buildings and generating your own power are all options to consider amongst the many energy solutions on the market.

Start with an energy audit, and see where it takes you.

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