Energy Efficiency Financing Makes a Comeback
Four factors are converging to drive a comeback for financing of energy efficiency projects, according to Schneider Electric’s chief marketing officer Chris Hummel in a recent article in The Guardian.
- As public awareness increases about the direct impact that energy costs have on things like airline and produce prices, businesses are paying more attention to the cost to power their facilities and how that cost affects their bottom lines. As a result, energy costs have become a front-of-mind concern for a growing number of industries. The International Energy Agency estimates that $8 trillion will be spent worldwide on energy efficiency between now and 2035.
- Technology advances are making it easier and less expensive for businesses to implement energy efficiency measures. The cost of solar panels, for example, has dropped from more than $75 per watt to $0.50 per watt, and technologies like smart thermostats have made it easier for businesses to manage their power consumption.
- Business models that fund energy efficiency through savings have not only made implementing energy-efficiency projects more appealing, it has opened access to such program for businesses that would otherwise not be able to afford energy-efficiency upgrades.
- A growing number of green jobs—and competition for those jobs—is a good indication that energy efficiency and sustainability are officially out of the “early adopter” stage. As energy-efficiency becomes a mainstream concern, commercial and residential contractors, lighting specialists and electricians are increasingly shifting their businesses to accommodate demand for efficiency, Hummel says. A new generation of professionals with advanced knowledge about energy and energy technology will drive energy efficiency programs and sustainability to the next level.
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