Best energy strategies for businesses: a 4-point checklist

A company’s energy portfolio is more than just an expense consideration.  Having an energy management strategy is a great way for businesses to invest in their own longevity, save money, and contribute to their community and environment. The returns go beyond financial benefits —  making smart energy choices creates a positive atmosphere inside the company, and a solid reputation in the community. Here’s our checklist for developing (or improving) your company’s energy management strategy.

1. Renewable Energy Certificates

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are a great way for businesses to get behind clean energy even if their electric provider does not offer renewable sources directly.  As the EPA explains:

An REC. . . represents the property rights to the environmental, social, and other nonpower qualities of renewable electricity generation. A REC, and its associated attributes and benefits, can be sold separately from the underlying physical electricity associated with a renewable-based generation source.

RECs are considered separate products from the actual electricity generated from renewable sources, so they can be purchased just about anywhere.  Your company will be reducing its carbon footprint and supporting green energy production — even if it’s being generated hundreds of miles away.  RECs are great products for businesses to consider as contributions to renewable energy.  And, because RECs are commodities that can be bought and sold on the open market, they are sound financial investments.

2. On-Site Renewable Energy

Renewable energy installations like solar panels are often proven to be more cost-effective than traditional energy purchases over time.  Walmart, for instance, implemented large-scale solar power installations after a thorough cost-benefit analysis.  This shopping superstore has “150 solar installations in seven countries, delivering 71 million kilowatt hours of energy annually to our stores, clubs and distribution centers – enough to take 9,600 vehicles off the road for a year.”  This renewable energy commitment is not only a strong environmental selling point, but it can also help out with the company’s electric bill as the price tag on fossil fuels gets bigger every year.

The cost to manufacture panels, as well as efficiency improvements, makes solar power a smart option in terms of the environment and a company’s budget.  Additionally, solar power is becoming much more affordable, and is expected to pass fossil fuels in cost-effectiveness in a matter of a few years.

3. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency not only saves money, it’s a great way for businesses to engage employees in company culture. Efficiency policies and green-friendly offices can spur employee teamwork and communication.  Turning off lights in unused rooms, shutting down computers and printers at night, reducing paper waste, and recycling all create a healthier work environment — and a positive company atmosphere.  Oh, and did we mention saving money on your utility bills? It’s a no-brainer.

4. Demand Response Programs

Looking to go a step further? Probably the most beneficial energy management strategy component of any business is participation in a demand response program. Not only does it protect the electric grid, but reducing your energy use during times of peak demand can actually make your company money.

In the last decade, the energy industry  has seen a lot of changes. From deregulation to efficiency upgrades, energy management strategies can be a confusing element of your business plan. But, if done right, improvements and investments can communicate positive company values to employees and your community. For more information on any of these energy management services, visit ECSgrid.com and see how having a personalized energy plan from one of our expert consultants can help your business succeed.

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