Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment. Below, Sara Neff explain to us which are the 4 mistakes common when pitching building efficiency.
An energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy. In commercial and industrial real estate, an energy audit is the first step in identifying opportunities to reduce energy expense and carbon footprints. More and more companies begin to make audits as specialized Deepki, a start-up specialized in the data analysis.
Here is a short video of Michael Thomas, sharing what is underlying an energy audit. What a world-record short-time video clip. 🙂
Michael Thomas intervention about the energy audit
Your clients receive everyday many sollicitations from so-called leaders of their industry willing to offer Energy Efficiency solutions for very little money and lots of expected benefits. Who are they? Which firms try to break into this industry of sobriety? What do they really sell? Are all these solutions comparable?
As a consequence, suppliers provide many different solutions to achieve these goals. Thus, existing Energy Efficiency suppliers in the Market include, among many different actors willing to lead the energy performance relationship with customers, such as ESCOs, equipment suppliers, utilities, software and cable companies, and contractors. Let’s have a look at the main European ones:
We’ve already seen in a past post, top 10 organisations to follow on Twitter in terms of Energy Efficiency news. Here are 10 influencers you should follow on Twitter to help promote Energy Efficiency within your firm or institution:
Joseph Pine’s career as a business coach began at IBM when he did something truly unorthodox: he brought business partners and customers into the development process of a new computer. Taking from this the lesson that every customer is unique, he wrote a book called Mass Customization on businesses that serve customers’ unique needs. Later he discovered what he would coin the “Experience Economy” — consumers buying experiences rather than goods or commodities — and wrote a book of the same name.
It allows to develop a policy for a better efficient use of energy, to set targets and goals for implementing the policy, while relying on data to better understand the energy use and consumption . It is however necessary in addition to the energy audit of implementing the management process of clean energy to ISO, which measures the results to examine the efficiency and then provide continuous improvement of management energy.
Does action in the press accurately track activity in Energy Efficiency, and more generally in cleantech, venture capital? In a very educational infographic, Dow Jones compares the number of capital-backed Energy Efficiency deals with the number of articles discussing Energy Efficiency, by region, from 2007 to 2012. Enlightening!
“According to the comparison, energy efficiency doesn’t get written about relative to the high level of venture capital interest, while everyone talks about water but no one invests.” Actually, this is not new. And it’s easy to recall how often journalists can sometimes mix up concepts, especially between Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies. However, this is very interesting to have consistent figures to support this point coming from a serious source, like Dow Jones.
There are 645,750,000 Twitter users over the World. And about one third of them are active users. Millions of them tweet about Energy on a daily basis, and certainly a significant number of them about Energy Efficiency. Hard to find the right accounts to follow when you want to stay up to date.
If Energy Efficiency does matter for you, here are 10 Twitter Accounts you should follow:
Energy Efficiency ventures, and more generally cleantech/greentech ventures, are not bets you will always win. Far from reaching this level of performances, an Energy Efficiency entrepreneur may want to join a first-class incubator, in which she will put the odds in her favour. Alongside, VCs and PEs which invest money in these incubators may want to better significantly better off. So, what are some of the secrets of success of the best incubators? As an entrepreneur, what should you look at before joining an incubator? Here are some answers an expert shares with us.
One very efficient way to attract your potential client’s attention is to be closed to her concerns. For some of them, worldwide Energy and Climate issues, and the way they can help improve through their firm, is an important topic. As a consequence, your sales teams need to know the main figures and facts related to these issues.
Moreover, even for a priori non-interested potential client’s, Energy and Climate insights are a useful tool to introduce a sales meeting. Indeed, nobody will refuse to talk about climate change or energy depletion!
There is a natural and human tendency that leads to not change a statu quo: ‘the change aversion’. This lies into your customers’ relationships as well. That’s often the first answer Energy Efficiency services suppliers declare while asking them why their clients don’t want to invest into Energy Efficiency projects.
In order to avoid, or at least mitigate, this syndrome, just make some educational tools to convince clients that your solutions will provide them (and especially users) more comfort, more practicality, more fun!
This fact reinforced the increase of the transport pollution up to 40% of greenhouse gases in the cities. Despite the public transport offer, the use of individual vehicles such as cars remains frequent. By habit, comfort, independence, freedom, users abandon their personal vehicle with difficulty. In the city, we frequently observe thus problems of roadway saturation and increase of pollution of the air, etc.
Historically, our economy focused on extracting raw materials (gold, wood, cow and so on). Willing to transform these raw materials for some end-use purposes (luxury, transport, feed and so on), firms started selling goods as more or less differentiated products (jewels, boats, steak and so on). Then, firms move to services (fit jewels and clothes, offer mobility, serve hamburger in your favourite fast-food restaurant and so on). The natural evolution is to provide experience to end consumers (feeling pretty, enjoying a nice trip in a train where you can dance like in a club, enjoying tasty food in a very practical environment).
Citing Jesse BERST, “utilities could get sucked into the smart appliances trap just as several of them fell for the in-home display idea. It doesn’t make sense for utilities to subsidize products that consumers don’t want. And consumers don’t want smart appliances.” Indeed, everybody talk about smart stuff, dozens of startups try to break into the smart home market, and no smash hit is coming. Why?
As Beth BUCZYNSKI said, “are smart appliances worth the big investment?” It seems that the industry hasn’t yet provided a killer app everybody would be happy to pay to have it.
Because it represents a large field of experimentation EU Member States’ Governments can control and because local authorities have less and less enough budget to manage on a daily basis their assets, property asset is strongly exposed to the evolutions of the regulations on energy and climate.
75% of the global cost of the local and regional authorities energy consumption concerns buildings. Brought back to m², the annual costs in energy consumption of European towns property asset stagnate around 10 €.
One of the key variables in an Energy Efficiency project, with the discount rate, is energy prices and their evolution through the time. Quite profitable Energy Efficiency projects have usually a few-year payback time. You may want to choose a not too bad ballpark value in order to make your project secured in the long run. Let’s not read in a crystal ball, but try to understand the main determinants, which influence energy prices.
Reasons why people spend their free time writting posts on Energy Efficiency frenetically are numerous: passion, willingness to share, desire to raise others’ awareness, just the pleasure to show off, expectation to become an expert, monetisation… 🙂
Whatever their reasons are, I feel very happy to have met these blogs on my road. They are all insightful showing a high level of expertise. Hope this post will help widen our community. And actually, I said 10 blogs but I’m not able to choose only 10 amongst them. So these are my 12 favorites. 😉
Population in European cities increases more and more and so the dependence to infrastructures to travel. In a context of urban sprawl confronted to the double effect of fuel prices increase and new working hours, the treatment of mobility constitutes a fundamental component of our territories attractiveness, as seen in a previous post. Energy Efficiency in public transport is a key leverage to improve attractivity.
The question of mobility is also asked in environmental terms; public transit networks are tremendous tools to reduce CO2 emissions and local pollutions. The fight against global warming will be determining for the evolution of transport.
We used to say that while asking a question to experts, you would receive as many answers as experts you ask your question to. No reason to be different in Energy Efficiency. Thus, Energy Efficiency engineers would legitimately give different answers depending on their own expertise (metering, automation, thermal, electricity and so on) and on the firm/product line they belong to.
My personal answer based on field experience is the following: You should start your Energy Efficiency project certainly not with an offer! Neither an audit, nor a metering systems’ installation. You should start it with questions and a genuine ability to listen to your client’s answers. Finally, this is basically a regular sales approach sometimes some engineers tend to negligate a little bit too much.
You feel disappointed. You’ve just presented your amazing Energy Efficiency offer to one of your leads, and it turns out that your client doesn’t seem to be completely convinced by your solution. Yet, the payback time is very decent, the investment not very high and compatible with your client’s budget and the solution is technically guaranteed. Sounds familiar?
As seen in a previous post, there are many different hurdles proactive Energy Efficiency solutions providers have to face. And even though your solution looks great, sometimes you need to align your client’s representatives’ interests. One of the means to do so is to make your offer sexy. How could it be done? Many ways of doing so.
I tried here to put together the 5 most relevant websites I would recommend to know before launching an Energy Efficiency product within one or several EU Member States.
1. Get to know local regulation first
The EU is aiming for a 20% cut in Europe’s annual primary energy consumption by 2020. The Commission has proposed several measures to increase efficiency at all stages of the energy chain. Targets and measures vary from a EU Member State to another. Before launching a product in a given EU Member State, you may want to know the existing measures, regulations and incentives within the country. Visit the European Commission’s website.
In this very good Reuters article, Jason NEELY (REUTERS) sets out to show that Utilities’ volume-based model is no longer a sustainable profit-making vehicule, and that Energy Efficiency solutions providers start capturing the value from Utilities.
Here is a non exhaustive wrap-up of this article:
– European Utilities could be very affected by the decline of their energy revenues.
– As an example and according to Bain, “the big four [German] Utilities will lose about a third of their annual operating profits from generation […] by 2020”
It’s Friday 6pm. And you’re coming back home after a hectic week at your Energy Efficiency solutions company. While traveling in the train, you ask yourself: “why is it so hard to sell my amazing Energy Efficiency products? Why was it easier to sell financial products in my past life?”
Proactive Energy Efficiency entrepreneurs have to face several barriers (some of them have been here detailed in this blog). It’s possible to give your client deals the best chance for success. To do so, you may want to implement some wise solution strategies.
Pushed by European Union regulation (such as EED, 2012/27/EU), Member States have to achieve some Energy Efficiency targets and requirements (followed through NEEAPs). Whatever the Member State you want to sell your Energy Efficiency solutions into, you may want to be supported through some facilitating regulations, incentives or subsidies.
To ensure your lobbying action to be impactful and get it ready, get through the 13following questions:
Needless to say that unemployment is a key issue for EU Member States. Does your Energy Efficiency solution create non-relocatable jobs? Is it a labour-intensive solutions?
Buildings in France, as worldwide, account for a high 40% of global energy consumption. Large and attractive opportunities exist to reduce buildings’ energy use at lower costs and higher returns than other sectors. These reductions are fundamental to support achieving the European Union’s 20-20-20 for 2020 policy and the International Energy Agency’s target of a 77% reduction in the planet’s carbon footprint against the 2050 baseline to reach stabilized CO2 levels called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Because the issues for local authorities are both environmental and economical, it’s necessary for them not only to create and divide wealth for everyone, but also master the budgets and face the urban sprawl problems, pollution, life quality and mobility issues. To obtain healthy and sustainable growth, managing energy demand and research for innovating and alternative solutions are proven to be central. Thus, any land use project, rehabilitation of buildings, or investment project should require to examine its carbon and energy footprint. Several reasons thereto: