Mar 29 2012 Justifying Energy Efficiency as a Business Investment

This morning the Iowa Economic Development Authority sponsored a webinar titled “Justifying Energy Efficiency as a Business Improvement.” The 2 hr. webinar was produced by Partnership for Industrial Efficiency (PIE2) and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Read below to find out more about the purpose of the webinar. The following is reposted from Iowa State University:

Justifying Energy Efficiency as a Business Investment

Industrial reaction to energy efficiency is slow and uneven. Poor communications are partly to blame: the dialogue is usually more technical than financial. While necessary, a technical dialogue is often insufficient for convincing businesses to adopt efficiency upgrades. Clear, investor-focused messages are needed to engage industry’s financial decision-makers.

Drawing from a decade of North American program experience documented in books and trade press articles, Energy Pathfinder Management Consulting’s (EPMC) principal consultant Christopher Russell shares an enthusiastic and innovative approach to energy cost control. When he speaks on this topic, he emphasizes a business-smart approach that “monetizes” energy projects-clarifying the investment performance of energy choices. His communications are geared for managers with budget and leadership responsibility in managing their facility-wide energy performance.


All businesses, regardless of industry, have one thing in common. They manage assets that convert inputs into cash flow and wealth. Energy is the life-blood of these assets. Unless the energy is free, it is an opportunity to maximize the creation of business wealth. As always, the bottom line is money, so the challenge is to express energy and its impacts in monetary terms. Energy must be thought of in terms of its business impacts: it is a cost as well as an investment. As an investment, it has direct, measureable impacts on cash flow, capital recovery, and volatility of earnings. This is a radical change in philosophy for industrial managers. That’s why PIE2 presents this seminar: to demonstrate the rich connections between energy choices and business performance. The seminar describes the analytical tools for creating a strong business case for smart industrial energy choices. The emphasis is on economic and financial analysis-principles are reviewed in the seminar from the ground up and in an energy-smart context.Purpose and Target Audience

This workshop introduces “monetization” as the strategy for converting energy choices into dollars. Monetization allows managers to become champions for energy-smart business solutions. Energy “projects” suddenly become investments that provide cash flow, boost capital recovery on assets, and subsidize operations. By quantifying the money profile of energy improvement opportunities, facility managers can more effectively demonstrate their value to the rest of their organization.

There is a better alternative to your facilities “doing more with less.” This seminar is intended for business leaders that wish to maximize the value of the resources at their disposal. It is also for facility managers interested in more than hands-on technical issues-they want contribute to business performance, thereby sustaining their own professional viability.

Goals of the webinar:

  • Energy, Money, and Business. A back-to-basics overview of energy’s relationship to business performance. Understand why energy is more than “a cost of doing business.” Any discussion of energy improvements can and should respond directly to fundamental business goals such as capital recovery, cash flow, and return on investment. Understand the difference between economic and financial analyses and the applications of each.
  • Monetizing Energy Choices. Energy metrics are one thing, investment metrics are another. This section goes where the academic finance courses don’t go – linking energy performance to investment results. We always need to show costs, savings, and paybacks. But we should also show the cost of doing nothing, the price to save versus the price to buy energy, and the alternative price tag associated with rejected solutions. This presentation shows how to make a compelling business case for an investment-minded audience.