Free Subscription

  • Access 15 free news articles each month


Try one month for $5
  • Unlimited access to news,insights and opinions
  • Quarterly and weekly magazines
  • Independent research reports and forecasts
  • Quarterly webinars with industry experts
  • Q&A with retail leaders
  • Career advice
  • Exclusive Masterclass access. Part of Retail Week 2021

Four myths you need to know about energy efficiency

It’s a challenging time right now for a lot of retailers, but for the smart operators, even those that have temporarily shut up shop, it’s also a great opportunity to get some housekeeping done, put plans into place and prepare for the next phase of the business. You might be facing a financial downturn at the moment, but it’s the perfect time to finally get a headstart on some new initiatives. 

For a lot of businesses, one of those projects is embarking on energy efficiency and sustainability, but there are a few myths that need to be busted before starting your journey.

It’s a waste of money

Gone are the days when adopting environmentally-friendly measures were just seen as something “nice to have”. Now, more than ever, it just makes good business sense. After all, these measures actually influence business productivity and the bottom line. 

“Businesses can potentially identify and achieve energy expenditure savings of over 25 per cent through targeted investment in a range of energy conservation measures,” explains Darren Clarke, Head of Strategic Clients at ERM Power.

“These measures can be as simple as energy monitoring system installations, improving energy awareness within the business through staff awareness programs,  demand management, lighting upgrades or optimisation of inefficient plant and equipment.”

It’s not all about solar

When most people think of ‘energy efficiency’, they immediately think of solar power energy and emerging energy storage options – but they’re only part of the solution.

From an energy perspective, the foundation for a great sustainability strategy actually starts with businesses having greater understanding of how they consume energy and, ultimately, how they can become more efficient with their energy use. With some simple data and site analysis by energy advisors, businesses can be well positioned to identify a range of simple and cost-effective energy conservation measures that ensures solar systems are not excessively oversized.

You should look to lose the weight before you actually buy the suit, so to speak.   

There aren’t huge upfront costs

One of the greatest myths is that for businesses to really become energy efficient, they require an immediate and large upfront capital investment. In reality, a good place to start is to chat with registered energy and sustainability advisors about your business, improve your energy literacy and work out where the quick wins are on its sustainability journey. 

In particular, a high-level energy and sustainability roadmap means businesses can adopt a considered and coordinated approach to energy and sustainability investment that better aligns with wider business objectives.

Financing solutions and government grants are also available to businesses in some cases, such as Power Purchase Agreements, environmental certificates, energy efficiency funds, and on-bill financing with energy retailers.

“Importantly, energy efficiency initiatives typically have the lowest paybacks and the highest returns. This is particularly the case when businesses leverage energy efficiency funds and government rebates that have been designed to support the transition to a low carbon economy and offset project costs,” says Clarke. 

No-one really cares about sustainability

In recent years, reports have revealed that customers are more loyal to brands that are socially- and environmentally-conscious. In a survey conducted by J. Walter Thompson Intelligence (2018), 83 per cent of people surveyed said, all else being equal, they would always pick the brand with a better record on sustainability. 

Secondly, for a lot of talent these days, it’s important that they work with a company that has invested in sustainability – it’s a way of both retaining and attracting great employees. 

“As we all know, a business only performs as well as the people it comprises and, with employees increasingly taking into consideration how social responsible businesses are when selecting their preferred employers, strong commitments to sustainability significantly assist businesses in establishing and maintaining an engaged workforce,” says Clarke.

Darren Clarke is Head of Strategic Clients at ERM Power. To find out more about efficiency, you can contact him or call 0427 166 527

You have 7 free articles.