Having spent many years promoting the benefits of energy efficiency within the industrial and commercial environment and the utilization of Variable Speed Drives in particular there has always been a conflict between OPEX and CAPEX budgets when it comes to the procurement of energy efficient solutions, particularly on a customers current installed base.
Put quite simply the target audience for the justification of an energy efficient solution is normally through operational staff wether it be maintenance engineers , facility managers or alike. The conflict with this approach is that they are normally targeted and budgeted for plant up time and not fiscal savings as a result of applying energy efficient solutions. While the owners and decision makers capital expenditure have no visibility of the benefits of say applying Variable Speed Drives to motors on site and the typical rapid payback they can provide.
A good example is a Shopping Mall which Schneider Electric surveyed on behalf of a facilities management company which by the application of Variable Speed Drives had annual calculated saving of 327K Euro for an investment of approximately 150K Euro which to most observers would be an excellent return on investment. Unfortunately the Facility Management Company did not proceed due to the constraints of only working within Operational Expenditure Budget.
Therefore the moral of the story is that manufacturers need to be focused and connected to the financial community within a business and collaborate with them to understand the benefits of energy efficient solutions and that the financial results can be significantly improved as a result of the capital investment.
Schneider Electric has adopted a consultative approach to this issue which really embraces the financial community to consider Energy Efficiency to give a positive impact to a business all the way from simple to use APPs such as ECO2.0 all the way to a full consultative service tailored to the customers needs.
The big question is how can the world of energy efficient solutions further engage the financial community…your comments would be welcome.