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SOLAR ENERGY… Creating a True Performing Asset
Organizations across the globe, by choice or coercion, are incorporating sustainable energy capabilities into their strategic plans.
And now many are feeling the pressure to implement. But how?
Yes, I know my comment regarding “coercion” may feel like blasphemy to some in the sustainable energy space but let’s be real… CFO’s and business owners currently are facing headwinds from many directions – inflation, increasing labor costs and regulatory environment, supply chain constraints, ever increasing competition and pricing pressure.
Am I flying too close to the sun? yes… pun intended.
Navigating Sustainability Challenges in Today’s Business Landscape
According to the 2023 Annual Litigation Trends Survey (Perspectives from Corporate Council, Norton Rose Fulbright), 28% of respondents said their exposure in this area had deepened and 24% expect increased exposure in the coming year.
Federal and state regulations are also “encouraging” businesses to implement solar and other renewable energy strategies. The carrot is in the form of tax incentives, the stick is increased regulations.
Supply chain demands and regulatory standards are driving more organizations to monitor and improve their carbon footprint. Additionally, many of your customers are, or soon will be, asking your organization to report on your carbon footprint, sustainability plan and supply chain risks. Don’t be surprised if you also get these requests from your corporate bank and insurance company.
There’s also the little issue of “green washing” – This is where companies may use inaccurate data or carbon credits to make their carbon footprint look better than it actually is. Carbon credits may be a legitimate strategy in the short-term, but not considered appropriate for the long-term.
Many are trying to determine if implementing sustainability energy strategies are going to result in higher operating costs or true cost savings.
If you are not breaking through the noise, effectively aligning stakeholders, and successfully implementing your sustainable energy plan, the savings will not be achieved. This could result in rising costs, unhappy shareholders, and competition gaining a competitive advantage in your market.
8 Step Framework for Successfully Implementing Sustainable Energy Strategies
The following steps are imperative to realizing true cost savings and achieving your sustainable energy objectives
- Creating Consensus: Proactively examining government and utility incentives, project goals, and budget are necessary to create confidence of timely & cost-effective project success. Beyond costs and financial outcome, aligning stakeholders, keeping them informed and sharing success builds momentum. Get it wrong and…
- Maximizing Incentives: Examine government and utility incentives – these are often difficult to identify, qualify for and realize… timing, experience, persistence and process will have a critical impact to your financial outcome.
- Optimizing Financial Structure: Finding the ideal ownership model is essential to achieving an effective IRR. Cash, Loans, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), PACE or Leasing (no money down) … Having access and expertise to properly structuring your financial solution impacts cashflow, balance sheets and long-term financial success.
- Site Selection & Engineering Design: Sounds simple enough, yet at first look many projects might not look feasible or cost effective. Experience, structural/electrical engineering, and access to potential innovative/proven solutions may have a substantial impact on cost and effective long-term outcomes.
- Collaborative Project Management: Most companies are focused on their own core competencies and don’t have the time, resources, or in-house expertise in renewable energy projects to deliver on time, in-scope and on budget.
- Effective Construction & Implementation: Tightly integrated with engineering and design; structural, building codes, building and utility permitting, licensed electrical, qualified certified labor, safety, proper installation, inspections, interconnection, commissioning and post install configuration are just of few of the details to keep in check.
- Ongoing Monitoring and Maintenance: Once installed and operational someone needs to make sure that your investment is performing optimally to provide the intended ROI. Who’s going to do it? What do they need to pay attention to? What/who is responsible if something catastrophic happens?
- Communicating Your Impact: After you’ve done the work, how do you communicate your environmental & financial success to your stakeholders both short-term and long-term?
This 8 Step framework sounds simple yet is essential for sustainable energy financial success. And while being knowledgeable and having a plan is important, proper engineering, the correct financial structure and effective implementation determines the TRUE long-term cost savings of your sustainable energy solution.
If you are exploring ways to implement sustainable energy strategies anywhere across the Continental US, let’s chat. Whether or not we decide to work together, I am confident that our discussion will be full of insights and actionable steps that can help you implement your sustainability plan.
Here’s a link to my calendar: https://calendly.com/danielrmeyer. Please pick a time that works best for you.
Or, feel free to simply get in touch: 720.272.0652; [email protected]