What is Energy Efficiency?
Eliminating waste by finding and applying methods to carry out the same work with less energy is known as energy efficiency.
While achieving energy efficiency can present a significant challenge, more and more businesses are beginning to view it as an opportunity to improve their operations and market standing.
In fact, according to the AIB Manufacturing Outlook Report for 2022, 87% of manufacturing companies in Ireland consider sustainability to be a chance to improve their core business strategy.
With wholesale energy prices on the rise and continued volatility in supply, and the need for greater action against climate change becoming more and more urgent by the day, it is imperative that companies consider ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
Pursuing sustainability and profit maximisation are no longer mutually exclusive. There are also some valuable business cases for prioritising energy efficiency such as reduced costs, an enhanced employer brand, government grants, and regulatory compliance.
With that in mind, here’s why you should invest in energy efficiency in 2023.
5 Great Reasons to Invest in Energy Efficiency in 2023
1. Energy Crisis
There is no escaping the current energy crisis that is gripping not only Europe but the entire planet.
Further escalated by the war in Ukraine, this crisis has been a dominant fixture on news outlets and has served to highlight a concerning lack of energy independence.
Reliance on fuel and energy from outside sources has left countries such as Ireland at the mercy of escalating prices. For instance, Electric Ireland’s wholesale energy costs rose to €2 billion this year with increases such as this ultimately being passed on to consumers and businesses with devastating effects.
It is also unclear for how long this energy situation will continue.
Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan, recently stated that it could last for up to two years.
“It’s not one winter we have to fight for – we have to think about how we provide and protect for next winter as well. That should influence the approach we take so that we have reserves” – Eamon Ryan
Thus, businesses should begin taking steps to help protect themselves from such uncertainty and potential future crises.
Investment in energy efficienct upgrades such as energy management systems and renewable integrations such as solar PV will help organisations to achieve long-term cost savings and will provide them with a greater level of energy independence.
2. Climate Change
Despite the efforts to date, the situation surrounding climate change is worsening in many respects. For example, Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased this year despite the 51% reduction target set for 2030.
Around 13% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to business activity. Therefore, there is a significant onus on businesses to make positive contributions in the fight against global warming.
One way companies can achieve this is by upgrading their lighting systems to ultra-efficient LED lighting.
LED lighting solutions continue to reach new heights with regards to sustainability. Our partner Signify recently released its new Philips MASTER LEDtube which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2,285 kg over its lifetime compared to a fluorescent tube.
These carbon savings, coupled with the immense energy efficiency provided by these solutions, mean that both your company and the environment can profit from reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.
3. Grants and Government Supports
The Irish government and government agencies recognise the key role businesses have to play in combating climate change but also, recognise the immense expense that can often be involved in implementing energy efficient upgrades.
Consequently, the number of substantial government supports and grants from organisations such as SEAI aimed at supporting commercial investment in energy efficiency has risen significantly.
Budget 2023 saw a record amount of funding allocated to supporting energy efficient grants. One such example is the Non-Domestic Microgen Scheme, a new grant that funds up to €2,400 for the installation of solar PV panels.
You can check out the full list of SEAI grants here.
Companies can make significant savings and meet energy saving targets while receiving a sizeable contribution towards the initial investment costs.
4. Employer Branding and Brand Reputation
Employer branding refers to your reputation amongst current and prospective employees and how they perceive you as an employer.
Employees want to see their companies assume social accountability and take actionable endeavours to reduce their environmental impact. Doing so can help to improve staff morale and increase staff retention.
Similarly, those currently in the job market are actively favouring employers with proactive strategies for achieving sustainability and energy efficiency. In a 2021 survey from IBM, 71% of jobseekers stated that they are more likely to accept offers from environmentally sustainable companies.
Amidst the current climate crisis, significant efforts to reduce environmental impact can also have an overwhelmingly positive effect on brand reputation.
The average consumer’s interest in climate change and sustainability has increased dramatically in recent years.
Many people now factor it into their purchasing decisions.
As a result, being seen to invest in energy efficiency can have hugely positive connotations from a sales and investment standpoint.
With the likes of the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement and targets of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, businesses can expect to encounter more strict regulations, particularly as we move closer towards the aforementioned target year.
Incentives and penalties are being discussed and implemented, creating a difficult environment for enterprises to operate in.
By investing in energy efficiency now, companies can get ahead of the curve and begin working towards compliance with the likes of the EU Taxonomy Regulation.
The EU Taxonomy is a green classification scheme that converts the environmental and climate aims of the EU into benchmarks for specific economic activities for the purpose of investment.
The taxonomy aims to prevent ‘greenwashing’ and instead promote investment in genuinely sustainable businesses. Consequently, achieving this classification can provide a distinct competitive advantage.
We hope you enjoyed our article on the ‘5 Great Reasons to Invest in Energy Efficiency in 2023’.
If you know like to know how we can help you to transform your business with energy efficient lighting and building management upgrades, contact us today!