The Question: “How can we afford to “Go Green?”
The Answer: “You can’t afford not to!”
By Robert Holdsworth, President
Energy Edge Solutions Corp.
As companies and institutions everywhere are asking, “How can we afford to go green?” Others have learned that the real question should be, “How can we afford not to?” Between the savings from energy efficiency, government incentives, rebates and well structured financing and lease options, energy projects can be excellent investments rather than daunting expenses.
By taking a carefully planned “whole facility” approach, companies can target both the “low-hanging fruit” (such as lighting upgrades and maintenance solutions) and a combination of other equally significant and cost effective solutions (such as available technologies to improve the efficiency of HVAC, refrigeration, equipment loads, etc) to achieve substantial returns. The efficiency gained across multiple load categories will amass to very significant reductions in overall energy consumption and costs. Often, these savings can help to fund more expensive, longer term solutions. Experts all agree that increasing energy efficiency is the most important and financially prudent step any business can take in “going green”. By reducing demand and consumption first, the scope and cost of secondary phases (such as adding renewable energy sources) can be better controlled.
Many government and utility programs have been designed to reward companies following just such an approach. For example, New Jersey’s Pay for Performance program returns up to 100% of the money spent for design and 50% of the money spent for implementation which significantly reduces payback time and increases R.O.I.
Furthermore, equipment lease or rental agreements can be used to eliminate out of pocket and capital expenditure costs and immediately enrich cash flow. Structured properly, these agreements cover the entire project cost and have such low monthly costs that they are off-set by the savings. In other words, the monthly energy savings outpace the monthly lease payments creating additional, immediate, unexpected cash flow and profit for the facility.
In addition to cost concerns, companies are often interested in knowing how energy reduction programs will affect their operations. A professional, well designed system should improve lighting quality, enhance occupant and employee comfort, reduce wear and tear on system components and improve equipment performance.
So again, the answer is, “You can’t afford not to go green”.