Expert energy analysis and insight for UK businesses.
As we make our final preparations for Talk Power 2013, taking place next month, it got me thinking about last year’s conference.
Many of the insights the speakers shared are still ringing in my ears. So here, in no particular order, are my top five tips, tactics and techniques from Talk Power 2012.
1. When selling an energy saving project, speak the buyer’s language
“We started packaging the message in a way that was attractive to different parts of the business and getting that internal buy-in. For finance, the figures spoke clearly. Merchants? We helped them understand what each kilowatt hour of excess energy consumed meant for them, in terms of how much more they had to sell. For architects, it was all about building regulations and ensuring industry compliance. For directors, it was about financial and legal obligations.”
Aseai Zlaoui, Technical Systems and Energy Manager, Harrods
2. Don’t treat regulation as a constraint – focus on the benefits
“We’re finding that retailers are employing energy specialists to ensure business compliance with legislation coming from government and Europe– but they’re also seeing that they’re making savings. Plus, energy efficiency is a brand driver for retailers. A retailer’s involvement in achieving energy efficiency across their own portfolio, and in assisting consumers to save energy by providing energy efficient products and services, can deliver a competitive edge.”
Elizabeth Hinde, Lead Officer for Property, Energy and Transport, British Retail Consortium
3. The timing is just right for energy efficiency
“…there have been several false dawns around energy efficiency. I think we’re probably in a Goldilocks point for energy efficiency – not too hot, not too cold. What I mean by that is I think we’re all set on a low growth world where real savings can make a significant contribution to profits that are trying to grow.”
Richard Postance, Ernst & Young, Advisory Partner specialising in shaping innovative business transformation projects
4. Think beyond the direct benefits of saving energy
“It isn’t just about resource efficiency. It isn’t just about saving money. It’s also about the opportunities that these projects provide you. We’re known to our immediate customer, Tesco, at board level now because of the environmental work we’re doing – and our company’s not that big. We’re now shouting about what we do to anybody who’ll listen, because I believe it’s the right thing to do – and we are in a really good place as a business because of it.”
Phil Pearson, Group Development Director, APS Salads
And one final tip from me…
5. Prototype energy saving projects to prove their value
“When you’re not the core part of the business, when you’re competing for resources, it’s absolutely critical to prove the results. Start small, demonstrate the value creation and the saving and the payback period to gain confidence, and then go for a larger roll-out of a similar project. It’s really important to prototype and pilot, to convince the decision-makers on the board to commit finances.”