In a volatile market with escalating energy costs, it’s no surprise businesses are taking advantage of energy efficiency opportunities to improve their bottom line, whether through smart energy strategies and projects, innovative technologies or simply reducing energy use.

In this, the second of a series of articles on developing and maintaining successful energy management practices, we explore the methods that successful companies are using to propel energy efficiency projects through to funding stage.

Getting the necessary buy in and funding for energy efficiency projects can be a challenging process. For decision makers facing competing business priorities and contracting budgets, money talks - which is why having a compelling and well thought out business case is critical to getting energy efficiency projects both on the radar and off the ground.

Here are some tips gained from industry through the Australian Government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program.

WHAT DO I NEED TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS CASE? 

  • Link energy efficiency projects to current and future business priorities
  • Use statistics and relevant information to add weight to your proposal including case studies, competitor overviews, benchmarking data, and stakeholder interests.
  • Source and think creatively about project funding opportunities including grant programs, loan financing, tax offsets, mandatory obligation scheme incentives and government transitional assistance schemes.
  • Clearly articulate your project’s aims, objectives and bottom line including business costs, benefits, payback periods and financial returns.
  • Find the right people who can add their expertise and support your business case
  • Identify and build relationships with key decision makers and keep them in the communication loop.
  • Include project risks and risk management strategies
  • Identify technical changes and resources needed to inform a detailed project management plan.

That means being clear on what the project will cost, the payback period, the overall business benefits and risks involved, the funding and resources required and importantly ensuring your project aligns to existing projects and business plans.

The reality is the stronger the business case, the more likely you are to get energy efficiency practices firmly embedded into your organisational culture, business operations and funding cycle.

WHERE CAN I FIND FURTHER BUSINESS CASE INFORMATION?

Visit the Industry case studies section of EEX to view case studies from a range of companies including Woolworths, Simplot, Downer EDI, Australia Post and Linfox on strategies and tips to help develop and execute a successful business case.

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