Why investing in energy efficiency

Energy efficiency can be an important driver for the competitiveness of industrial enterprises. My presentation, introductory to the webinar “Energy efficiency implementation in industries: the EU-MERCI approach to Good practices for multi-sector companies”, shows the reasons why energy efficiency should not be considered just as a cost reduction through energy savings, but could provide much more benefits. 

Many times energy efficiency is seen just as an opportunity of cost reduction through energy savings. Either if this is one of the main outcomes, and the most obvious, there are multiple benefits linked to an energy efficiency project, such as improvements in the productivity or the quality of manufactured products, the reduction of risks (energy supply, environmental, safety, etc.), lower maintenance costs and GHG emissions, etc. These additional benefits directly impact the core business and can positevily affect the value proposition and the value chain of a manufacturing enterprise.

Many studies show how companies that invest in energy efficiency and sustainability deliver better financial performance on the long run than companies that do not see the opportunity in doing it. The Paris Agreement on climate change requires a new approach to the use of all the resources, by redesigning products and services, rethinking the supply and the delivery chains, and finding out new business models.

Energy management systems (EnMS, ISO 50001) are a good tool to start developing a new approach on the use of energy and understanding how energy efficiency can improve the core business and the competitiveness. Among its key points the need to involve all the company’s functions on energy management, the draft of a detailed action plan, and the link with a monitoring system that allows to better understand how the processes work and where optimisations are available.

The EU-MERCI project is going to publish a platform with all the energy efficiency good practices listed by NACE code and available for each step of the main industrial processes. It could be an useful tool for most industrial companies. In the webinar many examples were shown by the other speakers and are available in the proceedings at www.eumerci.eu, together with the video recording.