How Technological Advancements Affect Energy Consumption in Business
Energy efficiency is a significant concern across most industries. Not only do companies need to keep up with regulatory requirements, but they also want to save money. Lowering your business’s fuel usage means reducing operating costs and increasing profitability. As a result, more businesses are turning to technology to improve their efficiency in the long term.
However, there is a delicate balance between investing in technological advancements, maintaining a reasonable budget, and working to protect the environment. You need to be strategic about which investments you pursue and how you implement them within your organization. Learn more about your options to manage operations efficiently.
The Role of Renewable Energy in Modern Business
More businesses than ever are investing in renewable infrastructure like solar power, wind farms, and even hydropower. Going green within your organization can be as simple as installing solar panels on the roof of your main headquarters. Technology makes investing in renewable resources easier and more affordable, while also improving the finances of countless organizations.
First, multiple tax deductions and credits for commercial buildings reduce their energy consumption. Next, investing in renewable energy makes your organization more independent — you don’t have to worry about your electric company raising your rates and driving up utility costs. Instead, all you have to focus on is keeping a filled backup generator on hand to power your operations in the event of an outage.
Embracing Fuel-Efficient and Electric Vehicles
One way for businesses to save money while gaining financial independence is to switch to electric and fuel-efficient vehicles. Not only will these investments have a direct impact on your fuel costs, but they can also make your expenses less volatile. You don’t have to worry about an upswing in gas prices suddenly driving up your fleet’s monthly gas bills. This can also impact the amount of fuel you need to store and reduce your overall storage costs.
However, electric vehicles may not be attainable for many businesses at this point. Instead, switching to fuel-efficient vehicles can promote energy conservation and reduce your company’s carbon emissions. What’s more, there are also tax benefits to this change. The IRS has a Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit of up to $40,000 for qualifying purchases, and other deductions might also apply, further reducing your investment costs.
There are even developments for mobile fuel trailers for businesses in agriculture, construction, or disaster response. With this innovative technology, vehicles don’t have to increase their mileage and subsequent fuel costs just to refuel. Instead, they can refuel at their respective stations.
Overall, there are several financial benefits to investing in clean energy, both in the form of immediate tax benefits and long-term savings.
The Future of Autonomous and Energy-Efficient Delivery
Researchers are also exploring the effects of autonomous vehicles on energy consumption. While many people are good drivers, they make mistakes and can overconsume fuel. Studies show that autonomous vehicles can reduce fuel consumption by 18% while boosting travel speed by 20% through optimized delivery routes. Investing in autonomous delivery technology could be a future boon for lowering fuel costs for companies.
Digital Transformation and Energy Efficiency
There has been a huge transformation over the past decade toward increased connectivity. Today, almost any piece of equipment or device can be hooked up to the web or monitored for optimization. For example, fleet management software allows companies to see when certain vehicles need repairs or which drivers speed or engage in inefficient driving practices like slamming on the brakes. Trailer telematics and sensor technology send data and alerts to offices hundreds of miles away.
The Internet of Things (IoT) also plays a big role in energy efficiency. More companies can invest in smart grids that use the IoT to send and receive data through countless sensors to manage their resources more efficiently.
Digital tools mean there is more virtual communication than ever on what is happening in the field. Countless data points from various sensors fill endless data centers with this information. It’s up to companies to monitor this data, discover information they find valuable, and take steps to improve efficiency in their operations.
Strategies for Businesses Aiming for a Smaller Carbon Footprint
Energy efficiency is a process, not a one-time action. Several small steps combine together to have a major impact on your organization and the environment as a whole. If you want to improve your efficiency, start with an energy audit. An objective third party can look at your energy consumption and provide actional insights for improvement. You might be able to collaborate with companies that specialize in carbon footprint reduction to further optimize your operations.
You can also develop internal best practices to reduce your energy consumption. For example, remote work reduces your direct utility costs — the electricity and water usage of employees in your office — but also lowers their environmental impact by eliminating their commute. Other tips to reduce your energy usage include switching to LED lighting, investing in energy-efficient appliances, and training team members to turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used.
Choosing the Right Delivery Partners for Sustainability
As you improve the energy efficiency of your organization through technology, evaluate the vendors that you work with. You endorse the companies that you hire by paying them and growing their businesses, which is why it is important to make sure your vendors are ethical and focused on the environment as well.
Talk to your current delivery partners and ask about the steps they take to minimize their carbon footprint. Make sure they meet or exceed your standards for efficiency.
Internally, you can develop a set of best practices for choosing quality vendors that prioritize efficiency. For example, see if your fuel delivery service uses a fleet management system and invests in the latest transportation technology. Learn more about the onsite fueling process to see how it can be improved.
You are working so hard to improve your organization and make it more sustainable. Make sure your vendors are aligned with your goals and company culture.
The Interplay of Technology and Sustainability in Business
Technology plays a key role in making businesses greener. It has the power to help you identify problems, improve efficiency, and change operations entirely. Many companies are still exploring the different use cases for various tech-based tools.
If your business is still considering whether adopting energy-efficient tech solutions is the right call, evaluate both the environmental and financial implications of your options. Short-term expenses could lead to long-term savings and financial stability across the board.
If you aren’t at the forefront of technological advancements for a sustainable future, you will constantly have to chase trends and do just enough to get by when new regulations pass. This might not be enough for your customers and investors to support your business.