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Top 5 blogs of 2021
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Top 5 blogs of 2021

This year, our most popular blogs highlighted our readers’ interest in maximizing their energy infrastructure and learning about sweeping policy changes encouraging urgency around decarbonization and boosting efficiencies.

In a year that continued to be defined by COVID-19, we have seen organizations in the United States remain more committed than ever to controlling everyday costs and building sustainability and reliability across their operations. We’ve also witnessed a renewed focus on decarbonization and energy efficiency through the passing of government legislation that will set clear targets for transforming our future energy landscape in 2022 and beyond.

Now more than ever, there is a real sense of urgency for organizations to increase efficiency and boost resilience across their infrastructure while taking more aggressive action to curb their environmental impact. The signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 15, 2021 – with some form of the Build Back Better Act anticipated to follow in 2022 – demonstrates the nation’s commitment to new infrastructure and decarbonization through the improvement of aging electrical infrastructure, implementation of smart energy technologies, and supercharging the deployment of electric vehicles.

Energy makes a significant impact for many organizations, both from a financial and carbon accounting standpoint and is therefore a priority in their sustainability plans. Renewable energy technologies, decarbonization, and resilience are top of mind in the nation right now, driven by legislation at the federal level and various incentives that encourage adoption sooner rather than later. Our top 5 blogs from 2021 reflect organizations’ interest in these topics as they seek to transition their operations to align with new policies. Our most viewed blogs focused on reducing energy spending, securing critical infrastructure, and adopting renewable technology. In addition, potential policies around incentives – both expending and sunsetting them – are driving a sense of urgency around adopting clean energy technology to maximize payback from installing these technologies.

In our most popular blogs, we discover that:

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers – large energy spenders – can gain a competitive advantage by implementing various measures to reduce their energy consumption.
  • Resilience is essential and organizations can take specific steps to minimize commercial risk across their infrastructure.
  • The passing of the Infrastructure Act, which includes electric vehicle adoption, drew focus on electrified transportation this year. Our blog discusses how this inevitable transition brings opportunities for organizations that extend beyond decarbonizing their operations.
  • Incentives are a vital tool for reducing the payback period and boosting the ROI of installing solar – a technology that immediately comes to mind as the nation focuses on rolling out policy around decarbonization. Solar PV is a key technology for reducing an organization’s carbon footprint while boosting efficiency and lowering energy spending. Solar incentives are time-sensitive, and as we are witnessing the proposal of significant changes to net metering in California, maximizing solar payback requires acting sooner rather than later.  
Pharma companies cutting energy consumption to gain a competitive advantage

5. Pharma companies cutting energy consumption to gain a competitive advantage

In what is now a highly competitive marketplace, pharmaceutical manufacturers understand that increasing efficiencies and cutting costs can deliver a much-needed competitive advantage. Since improving efficiency plays a big part in reducing costs for pharma, it also increases predictable earnings.

Since the pharmaceutical industry needs to maintain critical environments for production in terms of temperature, humidity, room pressurization, cleanliness, and containment, it is incredibly energy-intensive. Unlike many others in the commercial sector, most energy consumption in pharmaceutical manufacturing arises from within the process itself and the systems that support it – particularly during the conversion stage, when natural substances are converted into pharmaceutical substances. Labs, research facilities, and industrial manufacturing sites can be among the highest energy consumers, doubling or tripling the typical energy consumption of office space. As such, the industry is currently spending more than $1 billion on energy consumption every year – and generating 55% more emissions than the automotive industry.

Maintaining high product quality while reducing costs can be a challenge for many pharma manufacturers. One unlikely solution is improving energy efficiency.

But, before jumping to install the latest energy technology, it is essential for pharmaceutical companies to understand and manage current energy consumption so they can implement the energy solutions that best complement operations and goals.

What is energy resilience?

4. 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.

Changes to California’s net metering program and what they mean for solar PV system ROI

3. Changes to California’s net metering program and what they mean for solar PV system ROI

California’s net metering program, NEM 2.0, is being replaced with NEM 3.0 in early 2022. While there are still a lot of unknowns, net metering benefits could be changing – learn how this could impact your solar PV system investment.

California ranks first in the United States for installed solar capacity and has been a long-time champion for solar, and for good reason. The economic value that solar photovoltaic (PV) technology provides – due to robust solar policies, high electricity prices, and a wealth of sunshine – make installing a solar PV system a favorable energy option for organizations in California.

One of the key drivers for solar adoption in California has been its strong net metering policy – one of the most important policy mechanisms for the California solar market over the past decade.

In 2022, California will be releasing its third version of net metering, known as NEM 3.0. Bearing in mind that this is not the first time the state has adjusted its net metering policy, the proposed changes to net metering with this successor program to NEM 2.0 could be drastic this time – and may impact the payback and ROI from going solar in California.

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

2. 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.

What is the average payback period of a solar PV installation

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.