Global Green Consultancy
Challenges to Energy Implementations
There is great potential to reduce energy consumption and minimize its total cost by using existing technologies—and without changing the everyday habits of consumers.
Many people focus on opportunities that require high-tech new systems or on conservation efforts that reduce the benefits from energy. Yet there is great potential to reduce its consumption and minimise its total cost by using existing technologies—and without changing everyday habits. So why haven’t these prospects been realised already? Four fundamental barriers stand out. Energy efficiency typically requires large upfront investments to achieve savings that accrue later. In addition, it has low mindshare, and opportunities are fragmented across billions of devices in more than 100 million locations. Finally, the organisations that would be primarily responsible for implementing energy efficiency find it hard to measure, which makes them less motivated to act.
Realising the full range of savings may require a comprehensive energy policy, but regardless individuals and companies alike must become more aware of the importance and profitability of change.
In the commercial sector, payback times, capital constraints, and procurement can be problematic. Industrial sites, for example, generally have tight budgets, and many companies now require a one-and-a-half- to two-and-a-half-year payback. Managers may ignore attractive energy-efficiency projects because companies fear to hurt their credit ratings by raising debt. Fear also causes risk-averse plant managers to replace failing equipment with the same models rather than more up-to-date and energy-efficient ones—but inventory carrying costs prevent many distributors from offering them anyway. And even many industrial-procurement operations focus on upfront rather than total costs (lifecycle cost).
About Niall Kiernan
Niall Kiernan is an award-winning entrepreneur and sustainability consultant, advising both public and private sector organisations on energy saving matters.
Niall is the founder of Global Green Consultancy, which helps clients save money on energy, waste and water costs, improve productivity and increase compliance through the completion of technical studies, impact assessments and ISO international standards.