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How businesses are profiting from sustainable energy opportunities

3 ways organizations can tackle escalating business costs by transforming energy into a driver for value and growth.

The impact and changing restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult for many organizations to accurately forecast output, sales and the cost of doing business.

The roll-out of the vaccination program has sparked renewed hope. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year – a 0.3 percentage point increase from previous forecasts. Nonetheless, as their Chief Economist Gita Gopinath notes, “much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and on the ability of policies to provide effective support until that happens.”

In such an unpredictable environment, many organizations are looking to make extra cost efficiencies. Tightening up on energy spend is an obvious focus area. Many organizations have committed to ambitious net zero goals, but they aren’t in a financial position to incur large capital costs in the process.

Advances in technology and flexible finance options mean that there are many ways to reduce energy costs, generate revenue and reduce carbon emissions, all at the same time, and with little up-front capital. Many organizations are already doing it – but how, and why? Here are a few of the ways organizations are becoming more cost efficient and profitable by harnessing sustainable energy opportunities.

Driving energy efficiency through data

How can energy make your organization more profitable?

By monitoring and measuring energy consumption, organizations can improve operational performance and reduce costs and carbon. By monitoring equipment with low-cost, wireless sensors, businesses can quickly gain deep and insightful energy analytics. This can help to pinpoint where energy waste is occurring. It can also help to spot costly potential equipment failures before they happen.

Implementing predictive analytics can help your business to adjust operational processes to optimize performance and turn energy visibility into cost savings. Additionally, the more you know about your energy profile, the better you can inform your investment options.

Energy Insights Solutions in action

Advanced energy analytics delivered 7% energy savings at The Franklin office towers in Chicago. By using our technology to monitor and analyze circuit-level energy, building services engineers identified that unnecessary energy was being used out-of-hours and during the summer months. Rectifying this anomaly led to 3,000 MWh of annual energy savings, valued at $214,000 per year, with a payback on investment of less than six months.

Unlocking revenue opportunities

How can energy make your organization more profitable?

By increasing or decreasing energy generation or usage at time of grid instability or peak energy use, organizations can help balance the grid through digitalized energy management solutions, such as Demand Response and Utility Optimization Platforms. You’ll be financially compensated in return, creating a new source of revenue for your business. And, by installing onsite generation or battery storage assets, your business can increase the range of flexibility it provides – enhancing the monetization value that can be achieved.

This will become increasingly important as we move toward a higher renewables grid system, where intermittent energy sources can make it more challenging to balance supply and demand.

Optimization in action:

By enrolling their backup generator fleet for Demand Response, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is ensuring the resilience of the energy supply to 60,000 people in New York City. Their generators are deployed when requested to help balance supply and demand on the grid; and the financial compensation they receive is reinvested in the operation and maintenance of the assets.

Becoming a sustainable business

How can energy make your organization more profitable?

Customers are increasingly choosing to buy from environmentally conscious brands. Our Distributed Energy Future Trends report found that two-thirds of companies believe it won’t be government intervention that will be the main agent of sustainable change. It will be market demand.

Many organizations are responding to this by investing in solar PV installations to power their business with 100% renewable energy, which can boost their brand reputation. Solar energy is one of the most cost-effective methods of improving both financial and environmental performance. But it also has the added benefits of enabling organizations to generate revenue by selling excess power back to the grid; reduce energy costs during peak price times by combining solar with energy storage; and earn revenue from supporting the grid through Demand Response programs.

Solar in action

Embrace Home Loans in Middletown, RI wanted to lower its operating expenses and its carbon footprint as part of its “Going Green” initiative. Our team installed a rooftop solar PV system and helped Embrace Home Loans cut its grid energy consumption by 56%. Additionally, over a 25-year average, Embrace Home Loans will see a 69% reduction in their electricity costs, facilitating new mechanisms to invest in the company.

Read detailed insights on the 5 proven ways you can gain competitive and environmental advantage for your business