COVID-19: Energy Efficiency delivering Risk free Guaranteed savings
The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in a substantial contraction of the Irish economy since restrictions were imposed to reduce the transmission of the virus. The ESRI estimates overall economic activity will reduce by at least 13% when measured against GDP compared to pre-COVID levels. This could be considerably higher if the current uncertainty continues around restrictions for businesses to operate.
Demand for energy has decreased since the implementation of the first nationwide lockdown in March of this year with a marked decrease or stabilizing evident also in energy unit pricing by many suppliers. This has reduced the cost of operation for many businesses and reduced import associated costs all positively affecting the trade balance. While business welcomes the current reduction in energy unit pricing it is important to view this reduction with a sense of realism and with future market and policy changes in mind.
Demand is heavily linked to energy pricing and as the country gradually recovers so will energy prices. Moving back towards the gradual increase seen before the virus outbreak. It is estimated that the countries total electricity demand will increase by 50% in the next decade. Driven by new users such as data centers and resulting in increased capacity and cost to meet this demand. A shift has already been seen with increases in electricity prices announced by some suppliers in the last few weeks.
The investment in a more renewable and sustainable energy grid will be costly to create and the end user will see the impact of these changes in their monthly bill. Much of this will be in increased taxes which in some instances can accumulate to over half a business’s monthly bill. The government has also indicated a further increase in the carbon tax from €26 per tonne to €33.50 per tonne, to put in context the introduction of the tax was €6 per tonne in 2010 along with increases in the PSO levy.
As Ireland along with other EU partners call for a green recovery plan centered on investment in renewable energy and bio-diversity the trend of increased energy costs is forecasted to continue to meet our carbon targets in the coming decades. To put into context many businesses spend thousands of euros every year on energy with a significant percentage of that energy wasted within the business through inefficient equipment and practices. This wasted energy will increase in cost based on increased energy pricing so understanding where this energy is being wasted and reducing this wastage through a targeted way will significantly reduce energy costs and allow for more informed decisions to be made on energy consumption and make funds available for future business investments.
Watt Footprint have identified that a major barrier businesses have to eliminating energy wastage is a lack of information, know-how and available upfront capital to begin to target and eliminate this wastage. We have developed an Energy As a Service model offering zero capital investment from the client with a guaranteed savings structure before any payment eliminating risk to the client.
With the uncertain economic conditions and forecasted increase in energy costs making this wastage visible and having the expertise available to act on this information is vital for businesses to recover in a sustainable way. Making visible your energy consumption and eliminating waste is the first step in seeing real cost savings in your business.
To learn more about how Watt Footprint can help your business save energy during the lock down see our related article – 7 tips to save energy when closing your business during the Covid-19 pandemic.