Energy costs – the great unfunded business liability. If business people want to improve their future bottom line, they need to pay attention to the growing trend of explosive energy cost increases.
You have the two most powerful tools at your disposal, your vote and your wallet. This election you must exercise both if you want to see improvement in your personal economy. You can use your vote to drive better energy options.
Today, I am focusing on energy costs. Energy is the largest remaining unfunded liability for private-sector businesses, public-sector institutions, and residential users. In addition to trying to increase sales and profits in our businesses, we have been aggressively taking actions to reduce our operating costs, debt and our unfunded liabilities. Energy cost reduction and on-site energy security may be the final frontier. Let’s see if the nation is going to be on the smart-track to lower energy costs for business or if we get more of the same.
We can start with a few factoids:
1. Businesses use 67% of all electricity.
2. Without energy, no modern business can exist.
3. Energy costs to business have increased in every decade since 1970.
4. Energy costs have increased at percentages much higher than inflation since 1970.
5. Very few businesses have developed any plans to control energy cost escalation.
I posit that we business people need the ability to control our energy costs in a way we have not exercised in the past. We need more solutions for energy options. We need the ability to create and use power produced at our buildings or in our neighborhoods. We need to stop the escalation of energy costs that we have not properly set aside any money to pay for. Keep in mind, if we are paying $5,000 per month to our utility today, that price is only going up forever. Over 10 years, with the normal escalation and inflation cost associated with energy, our businesses may be paying our utility over $1.2 million – just for energy. If we plan on staying in business and potentially growing over that time for another 10 years after that, our compounded 20 years costs may be over $3.5 million.
Do we really have an extra $3.5 million dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Do we have a $3.5 million liability booked on our long-term financial projections? Of course we don’t. We are just hoping we will have the funds in our operating budget to pay for whatever the cost we are charged by our utility. Talk about economic surrender. Does this sound like good fiscal planning for any business? I think not.
What businesses need are options. Businesses need solutions that can lower energy consumption which will lower energy demands. Reducing demand will lower energy costs. Yet that is only half of the solution. Businesses also need to become on-site energy producer. Options can include the use of on-site fuel-cells to produce energy 24 hours per day. Use what you produce, sell the rest to others. Other options can include covering your hot roof with solar panels. Businesses can also capture any useable wind that blows on the property.
Are there any other options? How about reusing your grey water and using gravity to mover water around. Using restaurant oil to fuel your vehicles is an option. How about being able to partition your energy purchases and have the ability to select an energy provider that will provide the specific form of energy you prefer to use. Your demand will attract other energy entrepreneurs to move to your state so they can develop the energy you want to pay for.
Today, you need to use your wallet to get the market to hear your call-to-arms. During this election season, many politicians will want your attention and will want your vote. They will tell you what they want you to hear. It is your job to use any time you communicate with them and demand specific answers to your energy questions.
Energy costs can be lowered but it is going to take your focus to get it done. What you must take responsibility for is this: you can not continue to ignore the your unfunded energy liability because without energy, you are out of business. The opportunities to lower your energy costs and create a new funding source are found in the world of alternative energy production and you can use it right in your own buildings.