Steps to improving your energy productivity

POSTED 16/05/2018

Whether your approach to energy management is focused on reducing costs, increasing energy productivity, improving sustainability or generating revenue from energy assets the one thing that most organisations have in common is that energy usage has never been more in the spotlight.

Martin Becker, ERM Power General Manager – Sales & Business Development, says he has noticed a real shift in customers’ focus towards managing energy volumes and productivity. This is no surprise, as the return on investment (ROI) of energy-saving initiatives is becoming increasingly compelling.

Owing to increasing energy prices and decreasing technology costs, projects that once might have offered seven or eight-year payback periods a few years ago could now be down to as little as three to four years. Yet many organisations are unsure where to start.

ERM Power’s Advise /Deliver /Track approach is guiding customers on their energy journey.

Solution overload

“Whilst all of our customers are well aware of the challenges and the cost imposts they are facing, not all of them have an evidence-based energy strategy or an energy management plan to tackle initiatives,’’ says Becker.

“Many of our customers are fatigued – and have been bombarded by product pushers and sellers offering energy solutions and a variety of products, and as a result may even be implementing projects that are counterproductive instead of asking, ‘Where do I best deploy my capital to ensure l get the best return on my investment?’’’

Becker says that whilst volume reductions are a key component of any energy initiative, they are only part of the overall picture.

“Given that many customers have experienced significant price increases, they are naturally very focused on reducing the volume of energy they consume,’’ he says.

That’s why ERM Power employs a simple process to supporting our customers. Our unique Advise /Deliver /Track methodology means you don’t just put the plan on the shelf, we help you deliver on the plan and give you the tools to control your usage.

Advise / Start with the data

Becker says the ERM Power team understands the challenges their customers are facing, and are experts in helping them manage their costs. They offer a data-driven service to help customers make fully informed decisions on how they can best deploy capital and other resources.

“We believe that getting access to your data and understanding where and how your energy is being consumed is the first step on the journey,’’ says Becker.

“Our approach is to gather the data, undertake the in-depth analytics and then prepare an energy road map, which covers everything from prudent housekeeping initiatives and good energy management practices, right through to larger projects that combine solar PV, batteries, power factor correction, asset optimisation and lighting upgrades. Customers can benefit upfront from our energy experts, data scientists, deep industry knowledge, wholesale trading experience and insight into how they use energy.

The recommendations and our advice are bespoke. Some initiatives require capex, some don’t. Customers need to understand where they can achieve the best ROI. The solutions that we propose are not pre-determined, they are designed and focussed on delivering the maximum return for our customers.

“Every customer is different, so our solutions are always tailored to meet their specific needs.’’

Deliver / End to end solutions, expert implementation

Whether it is a simple lighting upgrade or a multi-site, multi product roll-out ERM Power can simplify complex energy initiatives.  By taking on the role of project manager and head contractor we can manage the complex supply chain and delivery of the completed project or plan, large or small that best suits your needs. The sequencing and deployment plan is critical, so you know where to focus for maximum impact and savings.

“We also bring a number of financing options to the table,’’ says Becker. “Some people have budgets and capital they need to deploy, for others we can offer various on-bill financing options, turning capital investment into operating expenditure and paying it off over a period.

“Increasingly we add value for customers through seeking out potential government funding, and there are many options available to customers – and in some instances our customers are not aware of these. Navigating what is on offer across states and territories is very useful support.’’

Track / Reporting on results that transform your business

Crucially, ERM Power is able to provide measurement and verification of initiatives that impact energy use.

“Many of our customers have implemented efficiency measures,’’ says Becker, “but how do you circle back and say, ‘Did that initiative achieve what I expected?’ We can validate whether or not the expected savings were achieved.  Closing the loop.”

As well as measuring the impact of individual energy efficiency projects over a set period of time ERM Power can give organisations the tools to manage their demand on an ongoing basis.

“Managing your peak demand is very important.  It’s a major component of the cost structure for many electricity tariffs. If you exceed your peak demand at any period during the day, you may (depending upon your tariff) end up paying for that additional capacity for the entire year. We have developed tools and analytics to assist our customers in this area’’

For example, ERM Power’s app allows customers to gain near real time access to their energy data to manage demand and consumption via their mobile devices. This is just one of the ways ERM Power is innovating and providing the tools to help our customers manage their energy costs.

“It is a fully integrated, end to end energy solution, and that is what our customers are telling us they want.’’

For more information click here, contact your account manager or call us on 13 23 76.

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