Energy management is about making a commitment to the future. The right energy management plan can secure a company's future while also contributing to a more sustainable planet overall.
That's why looking towards the future is an essential part of the energy industry and of energy management as a whole.
So as the end of 2015 approaches, let's take a look at what we can expect to see in the coming year.
Prediction: More Businesses Focus on Energy Management
A 2015 study from the Association of Energy Engineers sheds light on some important statistics as to why energy management and energy efficiency will continue to grow as a corporate focus and investment in 2016 and beyond. The survey of engineers and energy managers found that 76% of respondents' companies are currently working towards or already have established policies concerning sustainability, of which energy management can play a major role. Further, 39% indicate that the current energy efficiency marketplace has made it easier than ever to get future energy efficiency projects approved. Both of these statistics indicate that companies already have incentive to focus on energy management - and that future energy management advocates are going to find less resistance to their projects in the coming year.
Prediction: Sustainable Energy Options Become More Accessible
As energy management becomes a priority for more and more businesses, we also must expect sustainable energy options, especially solar power, to become more accessible. As the demand for these types of energy sources, fueled by cost savings as well as governmental programs such as the Better Buildings initiative, and the Investment Tax Credit (which is set to expire at the end of 2016), the supply can only improve, leading to lower costs and even more incentive to make the change to more sustainable energy sources.
Prediction: Increased Attention on the Social Good of Sustainability
Investments in sustainable energy can certainly lead to positive environmental changes, reducing our reliance on diminishing stores of fossil fuels and improving air quality, but sustainable energy can also be a social good. In 2016, there may be increased discussion over how the dropping prices and improved technology of solar energy can raise some developing nations out of poverty and improve the lives of millions of people around the world.
Prediction: Energy Specific Business Tools Become Mainstream
As policies change and companies realize that they have options for how they consume energy, focusing more on how to achieve a sustainable and cost effective energy strategy, tools for managing these efforts and facilitating change around energy will be required. Best practices from established business planning tools like ERPs and CRMs will be applied to energy management.
Prediction: Politics Come Into Play
Arguably, politics and the energy industry are never far from one another. Not only is energy a topic that affects virtually every constituent, but big industry players are frequently at the top of campaign contribution lists on both sides of the aisle. While primary debates have largely ignored topics of sustainability and climate change, the general election will likely be much more contentious on the issues, bringing to the fore national concerns about the future of the country and the planet.
2016 is not far off, but it is shaping up to be another opportunity to grow awareness about the importance of energy management as well as to make big changes to how companies get their energy.