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Top 5 blogs of 2020

Top 5 blogs of 2020

This year, our most popular blogs highlighted our readers’ interest in transforming their energy footprint to cleaner, more efficient and resilient sources that are facilitated by the latest technologies and financing solutions.

In a year that was defined by COVID-19, we’ve seen lockdowns and a slowdown in business activities demonstrate that controlling business costs is more important than ever. Many of our customers are looking for ways to improve financial performance and achieve cost efficiencies throughout their business, so they can keep their budget on track. They also have a key interest in financing mechanisms that facilitate smart energy infrastructure upgrades – and renewable technologies that deliver financial returns.

It has become critical for organizations to strike the right balance between profitability and sustainability. The good news is that making the sustainable choice is increasingly also the commercially responsible choice. Over recent years, the cost of installing on-site solar has fallen; new avenues to using energy flexibly are supporting the grid and creating real money for businesses; and energy efficiency services continue to deliver significant returns in lower energy spend and improved site resilience.

As we gradually begin to see changes to the economic landscape, organizations that implement sustainability measures by harnessing flexible technology solutions can turn energy into an asset for top and bottom line growth.

It’s therefore no surprise that our most popular blogs this year focused on the sustainable transition to net zero while demonstrating commercial responsibility.

5. Five reasons to transition your business to electric vehicles (EV)

With the move to electrified transportation becoming more inevitable, we dive into the reasons why the transition is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and public organizations.

In the U.S., the transport sector accounts for the largest proportion of carbon emissions (29%), which many experts believe is accelerating climate change. As we continue to make progress in decarbonizing the electricity supply, transportation is the next big sustainability challenge. Organizations can make a huge contribution to reducing the threat of climate change by transitioning to electric fleet vehicles, providing at-work charging for employees or turning parking lots into EV-friendly spaces.

However, the range of benefits for business is larger than only having a positive impact on the environment. Here we review five of the most important reasons why organizations should be considering, and implementing, electric vehicles.

4. The ABCs of EaaS

Energy-as-a-Service is a financial solution that enables organizations to upgrade energy infrastructure without any capital investment.

Essentially, “as-a-service” represents a shift from businesses owning and maintaining their technology, to businesses only paying for the services the technology provides (think software, copiers, etc.). It's all about simplicity – removing unnecessary complexity and cumbersome processes, to make way for a more efficient way of running a business. It's also about prioritizing where to focus resources and investments to achieve maximum benefit and ROI.

Enter energy “energy-as-a-service.” Energy-as-a-service (EaaS) is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows companies to implement energy and water efficiency upgrades with no upfront capital expenditure. Energy assessments, project design, implementation, ongoing measurement, and verification are all handled by an energy service provider (ESCO). Project development, construction, and maintenance costs are all covered by a third-party asset owner/lender. Once a project is operational, the company simply makes regular service payments from their guaranteed energy savings.

3. Five operational efficiency KPIs

Improve manufacturing operations and cut costs by setting specific, measurable goals.

Manufacturers are faced with the pressures of producing more high-quality goods, with less money, time and resource. Regulations are becoming more stringent and competition is growing in the market. Due to these increased business pressures, there’s a greater emphasis on alternative ways of being competitive. These include improving speed to market with new innovations, operating more efficiently and being more environmentally conscious.

To achieve the goals of lean operation, industrial manufacturers need to constantly monitor, benchmark and improve. KPIs can prove a valuable gauge of progress, helping manufacturers to set and achieve their business goals and maintain critical business resiliency.

2. What is energy resilience?

Energy resilience is about ensuring a business has a reliable, regular supply of energy and contingency measures in place in the event of a power failure.

Causes of resilience issues include power surges, weather, natural disasters, accidents and even equipment failure. Human operational error can also be an issue and should be factored into resilience planning.

As the energy landscape undergoes a radical transformation; from a world of large centralized coal plants, to a decentralized energy world made up of small-scale gas-fired production and renewables, the stability of electricity supply will really begin to affect energy pricing. It’s imperative that businesses plan for this change.

The challenges that the growth of renewables bring to the grid in terms of intermittency, means that transmission and distribution costs are set to consume an increasing proportion of bills.

Ensuring your business is energy resilient helps insulate against price increases or fluctuations in supply, becoming critical to maintaining operations and reducing commercial risk.

1. What is the average payback period of a solar PV installation?

Discover how installing commercial solar panels can yield solid financial returns while generating onsite power for your business.

Solar is an investment that makes good business sense – one that pays businesses back through lower energy costs from day one, new revenue streams through programs like net metering, resilience from grid interruptions and demand charges when solar is integrated with battery storage, and the monetization of assets like roof space, parking lots, and empty land.

Many businesses wonder how much time it takes for the total savings and revenue streams from their solar PV panels to cover the total cost of the installation. This is known as the payback period from solar, meaning how long it takes for you to break even on your investment.

The speed of solar payback depends on several factors.