As the nation’s attention turns to concerns around carbon footprint, global warming, clean energy, and environmental protection, utilities increasingly feel the pressure to demonstrate their commitment to these same concerns. Simultaneously, customer service and ratepayer returns are top of mind for many utilities, creating additional demands on utility company leadership.
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, these concerns will continue to escalate in 2015 and beyond, with state-by-state Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS), clean energy mandates, and customer service standards becoming more demanding and universal.
With so much at stake, one under-served area that utilities can no longer afford to ignore is small business energy efficiency.
The good news is that a great small business efficiency partner can help utility companies meet public demands, satisfy regulators, serve customers, and contribute to the bottom line, all at the same time. Here are five reasons why partnering with a good small business efficiency company in 2015 is a smart move.
While each individual small business customer represents only a small portion of an area’s total energy footprint, together small businesses represent approximately 80% of the commercial user base. Most utilities offer energy efficiency programs to serve the commercial base, but these programs are woefully underutilized by small businesses.
Small businesses ignore these traditional programs because they tend to be difficult to access, provide ambiguous returns, and create too great an impact on short-term cash flow to be practical. The good news is that reaching the small business market effectively doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can yield tens of thousands of MWh savings per year at a far lower cost than that of building new facilities.
New York’s REV initiative is set to influence EERS across the United States. Utilities that are slow to put efficiency programs in place may suffer significant setbacks when mandates reach their state.
On the flip side, utilities that act now and position themselves for the future by creating effective energy efficiency programs will gain significant ground on the new standards. This will help utilities set themselves up for positive growth in the years to come.
Customer care requirements are a big part of the demands of REV. A satisfied constituency also means an easier time getting approvals for rate increases, and translates to significant efficiencies within the company.
A great small business efficiency initiative can double as a customer service initiative. At a fraction of the cost of building new facilities, a good small business efficiency initiative puts feet on the street to contact business owners directly, engage them in dialog, demonstrate the value of the programs, and deliver cost savings that provide significant bottom line benefits. The feet-on-the-street and benefits-focused approach translates directly to strong customer relationships and community goodwill.
It’s no secret that the energy industry is changing faster than it ever has before, making it difficult for utility companies to stay ahead of it. The challenge of keeping up with the latest standards developments in NY, the nation, and individual states can be rather overwhelming for utilities â€“ luckily, there is help.
Major utilities around the country are partnering with experienced energy efficiency companies to create and implement efficiency programs. These companies also help utilities become industry innovators and thought leaders. With highly respected experts who keep their fingers on the pulse of national and state-by-state standards, utilities have access to the latest information and customized insights to help them make smart choices about investments and initiatives.
No utility company can afford to throw money at flimsy promises or untried partnerships. For utilities that want to see genuine results in 2015, it makes sense to choose partners who have proven their ability to deliver on business requirements, strategic goals, and bottom line ROI.
At Lime Energy, we’ve partnered with major utility companies across the country to deliver tens of thousands of MWhs in savings via small business energy efficiency initiatives. We also understand the needs of small business and how meeting those needs also meets the needs of the utility companies who serve them.
If you want to help your company meet emerging energy efficiency standards and position itself to excel in 2015 and beyond, partnering with an organization like Lime Energy is simply a smart choice. Contact our experts today to find out how we can help.