Every industry around the world has been affected by the events of this unprecedented year, and amid all the uncertainty, threats of climate change persist. In fact, the extreme weather seen so far in 2020, and the financial impact this has had on businesses and communities, is only a preview of the challenges we will face if temperatures continue to rise. There is no denying it—the time for the energy transition is now.
Enel X has already seen businesses emerge as a leading force in the energy transition. Some of the world’s most prominent companies are setting bold individual commitments to achieve decarbonization and working collectively in the fight against climate change.
These companies aren’t just making an impact on the environment—they are making a positive financial impact on their own organizations. It’s well established that sustainable practices can help businesses better weather turbulent times by making both their finances and operations more resilient. But as margins are threatened by the pandemic for many industries, and as the economic future looks less secure, some companies may be tempted to put their decarbonization efforts on pause to focus on other income drivers.
Here, Enel X demonstrates the importance of taking a broad look at actions and solutions that could bolster your business’ sustainability efforts and how integrating a custom, holistic sustainability plan should be viewed not as a cost, but a benefit to the bottom line.
SOLUTIONS TO GO ALL IN
Taking a holistic approach to energy management and efficiency can ultimately lead to cost savings for businesses and a more stable energy supply.
This starts with energy procurement. Volatile and rising energy costs can decimate budgets, creating shortfalls that delay other critical projects and programs, such as capital improvements or tax relief. Bringing in outside experience at the onset of your sustainability journey will help your business ensure that you’re taking advantage of competitive energy markets.
For example, Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) serves as a centralized purchasing group for more than 21 regional public schools, community colleges, county agencies, cities and towns, and other organizations. Enel X helped BRCPC achieve its renewable energy goals, while creating a novel procurement method for the committee, consolidating its purchasing power and enabling direct purchase from the wholesale energy markets. This strategy generated a savings of $11 million each year for the committee – a savings of 7.5 to 9 percent over a traditional retail approach. These savings are passed directly on to BRCPC’s many agencies—from county governments to public schools to museums.
Purchasing is only one way to tackle sustainability goals. Another approach involves installing distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar, storage, and electric vehicle charging stations on-site at facilities. Businesses are better able to integrate renewable energy and manage their utility costs after incorporating DERs into their energy management strategy. Many DER solutions are available for low or no upfront cost and offer both economic and resiliency benefits.
Under certain configurations, solar-plus-storage solutions can also enable businesses to continue powering critical equipment amid grid outages and power quality issues. The ability to self-generate, store, and consume clean power on-site not only allows businesses to continue operating when the grid goes down, but also gives them an opportunity to participate in regional demand response programs. These programs provide substantial payments that can be reinvested into the business.
At the San Diego Blood Bank, Enel X is adding a 334 kW/668 kWh battery storage system to a 976 kW rooftop and carport solar photovoltaic (PV) system that will reduce the facility’s environmental footprint, while providing significant cost savings to support the organization’s critical services provided to the local community. This PV system will enable the Blood Bank to charge its electric bloodmobile fleet with 100% renewable energy
Furthermore, with predictable electricity rates and a host of EV infrastructure incentives, public and private fleet operators are embracing the compelling value-proposition of going electric to reduce their fleet’s total cost of ownership. Enel X is teaming up with utilities and Fortune 500 companies, such as Uber, which recently committed to making rides on its platform 100% zero-emission by 2040, to make fleet electrification goals a reality.
MEASURING YOUR RESULTS
Properly managed data is crucial to tracking and disclosing progress against goals, and empowers sustainability managers to show a direct connection between new policies and results. Enel X is seeing increased pressure from stakeholders such as investors and business customers to measure and report emissions data. More companies are implementing data collection and management solutions as an input to defining and tracking their sustainability goals. However, collecting the data needed to measure sustainability performance across a large portfolio can be challenging. And making sense of that data to identify your strengths and weaknesses is even more complex.
Data management systems can streamline the process by automatically converting multiple data streams, including utility bills and renewable energy production data, into the information you need to report to industry standards and comply with laws and regulations. This insight can provide stakeholders with a clear understanding of the ROI of your energy management plan and how your business is tracking toward your sustainability goals.
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
The key to leveraging sustainability initiatives for long-term success is partnering with a company that can provide expertise and insights into the vast and often mystifying range of energy solutions. With so many options, an outside partner that understands the relevant opportunities can help you analyze the current status of your operations and set and work toward strong goals.
Businesses have the power to put our environment, and economy, on the path to recovery as long as they stay steadfast in their commitments to bold climate action. Businesses have myriad ways to integrate renewable energy technologies into day-to-day operations that will benefit the bottom line. Now is the time to double down on sustainability goals and identify the right solutions for your business.
To learn more about how your company can continue to progress your sustainability commitments, visit EnelX.com.