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The Value of Energy Management Transcends All Industries

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Sound energy management starts with a documented energy strategy. 

Yet, according to our 2017 Energy Decision Makers Survey Report, most businesses surveyed do not currently have a holistic strategy in place. 

While 96 percent of surveyed decision makers use at least one energy management best practice to reduce energy cost, only 6 percent of businesses are using all six supply-side and demand-reduction best practices.

six percent

While many businesses may be missing out on a huge energy savings opportunity, there's still a silver lining: a large percentage of companies plan to elevate their energy management in 2017. 

For example, 44 percent of the 300 respondents said they will enhance analytics capabilities to optimize energy plans. Nearly the same amount plan to purchase a mix of fixed- and variable-rate energy plans. Thirty-nine percent will improve supplier and contract management. More than a third of respondents indicate they plan to hire or contract with an energy management services vendor. And 34 percent will implement energy-monitoring technology to pinpoint waste and inefficiencies.

Energy Management is Critical to Financial Performance

Our survey revealed that slightly more than half of respondents said their efforts have reduced energy costs anywhere from 6 percent to 20 percent. 

Yet businesses across all industries felt that they could benefit even more from stronger energy management practices and tools. 71 percent felt they could lower costs. 70 percent felt they could reduce energy use. 42 percent said better tools would improve their ability to forecast energy costs. 

The Value of an Independent Energy Supplier

For busy business decision makers responsible for large energy budgets, the guidance and flexibility that independent suppliers can offer is paramount. These suppliers offer a variety of flexible options for pricing, terms, service, billing and products – often more than businesses would typically receive from local utilities.

However, most respondents (67 percent) said they’re not currently working with an independent supplier. That means a full two-thirds of businesses we surveyed potentially miss out on flexible prices, products and services designed to help them meet their business goals. Survey results bear this out. Thirty percent of businesses using an energy services provider lowered costs by 21 percent or more. But only 14 percent of businesses that don’t use an energy services provider lowered costs by 21 percent or greater.

Many Can Do More with Total Energy Management

Businesses are employing many methods to use less energy and manage energy budgets. But few are employing all the tactics needed to fully embrace comprehensive energy strategy. Our study showed that individual energy management tactics can perform well on their own, but are more effective when united together to achieve the highest level of success. 

96 percent of businesses reported that their practices include at least one of six total energy management best practices — three supply-side and three demand-generation tactics. When looking across the energy management equation, 70 percent practice one or more supply-side and one or more demand-side tactics. Of respondents, 32 percent practice two or more supply-side and two or more demand-side tactics.

Businesses that fall short of the six energy management best practices could miss critical opportunities. It’s important to get a good price on your energy supply, but failing to optimize consumption can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Similarly, businesses that work hard to manage their consumption, but do not monitor the market for new buying opportunities may leave money on the table.

Want to know how your business can create a more robust energy strategy? 

Download the 2017 Energy Decision Makers Survey Report

Posted: March 13, 2017