Why energy efficiency is a win-win for Energy companies and their commercial customers
Written by Liam Burlinson, Director of Utilities
With the ever-increasing focus on the cost, resilience and environmental impact of our energy systems, energy efficiency is a vital, but sometimes overlooked area of intervention. Whilst the traditional benefit case for energy efficiency normally focuses simply on cost saving, this underestimates the wider benefits that can be realised.
Whilst it may sound counter-intuitive for energy companies to be interested in supporting customers to reduce their energy consumption, the reality is that most should have a vested interest in doing so. This article explores some of the reasons why many energy companies are making this a reality, helping deliver benefits to customers but also driving competitive advantage and commercial opportunity for themselves.
Supporting service differentiation
Energy companies that think beyond their traditional customer relationships can foster greater levels of satisfaction and customer loyalty. By moving “beyond the bill” and increasing access to meaningful, tailored insights into energy usage, energy companies can positively impact customer perception and reposition themselves as a trusted energy advisor to their customers.
Whether through the provision of bespoke reporting, tailored advice or by providing simple, connected tools that aid decision making and investment in new energy saving technologies, energy companies can foster stronger customer partnerships, increase customer retention and creating new revenue streams at the same time.
Energy-efficiency can rapidly lower operating costs for commercial customers, helping businesses mitigate some of the wider economic challenges they face right now. By investing in energy-saving technology, or optimising energy intensive activity in their properties, businesses can deliver substantial reductions in energy costs, often with quicker return on investment than might be expected. By supporting customers in achieving energy efficiency, energy companies help their customers’ bottom line and strengthen their relationship.
Building brand image
Energy-efficient practices help demonstrate commitment to environmental responsibility, which in turn can enhance the brand image of businesses and help attract new, environmentally conscious customers. Energy companies that collaborate with their customers to improve energy efficiency, directly contribute to the perception of their brand. This helps them positively influence the factors that drive buying choices as customer decision making continues to shift towards more environmentally focused concerns.
Creating resilience in the energy system
Energy companies constantly face the challenge of managing peak energy demand and helping to balance the system, especially during periods of high energy consumption. By encouraging action on energy efficiency amongst their commercial customers, they can help reduce energy demand, enabling the softening of peak loads, and reducing the strain on the energy system. This is of growing important as more intermittent, renewable energy generation assets are introduced to the system.
Ensuring regulatory compliance
Governments continue to emphasise the importance of energy conservation, with growing focus on energy efficiency through obligations like the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES). Energy companies that help their commercial customers achieve energy efficiency are helping facilitate compliance with these types of environmental and energy efficiency standards. By providing insights, guidance and energy related services, energy companies are helping their customers meet regulatory requirements, avoiding potential penalties or legal consequences.
As energy companies grapple with the impact of the climate crisis on their own businesses, supporting customers to become more energy efficient helps reduce overall energy consumption and can drive material reductions in the carbon footprint of their portfolios. By supporting customers to implement relevant, targeted energy interventions, energy companies build trust with their customers and credibility in the leadership role they have in tackling the climate emergency.
By actively assisting customers adopt energy-saving technologies and behaviours, energy companies are actively contributing to both their customers success, but also their own success, in what is an ever more competitive and rapidly changing energy market.
Those acting to support commercial customers with the increasing demands of running their business, whilst also dealing with their environmental impact, are the organisations that will thrive in the energy efficient, green economy of the future.