Search Icon
Business Solutions

Pitch Energy Efficiency to Your Business Leadership — and Win!

Energy Efficiency for Business Can Help Fund Other Assets

By: | December 3, 2015 10:36 am

In any business, there can be stiff competition for getting a project funded. If you make a recommendation to purchase highly efficient equipment or to complete an energy-efficient retrofit, your leaders might be weighing that against the cost of better IT systems, more staff or other resources that help an organization improve performance. We offer a few tips to make a compelling case for energy efficiency, in ways that will capture the interests of your C-suite.

Present key financial metrics

When you request approval for the funding of your efficiency upgrade, be sure to include key financial metrics that help leadership understand how this project fits into the company’s short- and long-term goals. Here are some of the calculations you may want to present as part of your proposal:

  • Investment required (i.e., the cost of the project)
  • Rebate earnings
  • Energy cost reduction
  • Simple payback
  • Internal rate of return (IRR)
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Net present value (NPV)
  • Potential impact on asset value

Get help from us! Xcel Energy can provide some of these calculations for you

Xcel Energy can do more than simply let you know what rebate dollars you’ll get for your efficiency upgrade. Our energy efficiency specialists can perform a financial analysis of your project that will provide not only your energy savings potential, but the entire financial picture of the efficiency benefits. You’ll get an overview of simple payback, ROI, net present value, maintenance savings and more. In other words, you’ll have what you need to make a compelling recommendation to leadership. And getting started couldn’t be easier. Simply call us toll-free at 1-855-839-8862 to speak with an energy efficiency specialist.

Beef up your proposal with supporting facts

There are both financial and non-financial benefits that come from energy efficiency upgrades, and it’s important to translate these into factors that are meaningful in a business context. Consider these sometimes-overlooked points that can persuade leaders to commit to an investment in efficiency.

  • Doing nothing comes at a cost. Whether your organization acts on an energy efficiency opportunity or not, there will be a cost outlay, either for the efficiency improvements or for the excess energy that is wasted. Why not put that cost outlay towards improving future returns? The problem with doing nothing is that wasted energy still has a cost, and it can grow year-over-year. When you consider the possibility of rising energy costs over time, an investment in efficiency is likely to increase in value over time.
  • Energy efficiency can make a positive contribution to other organizational goals. It’s relatively easy to see how efficiency plays a part in sustainability or environmental goals, but it can contribute to other key goals, too. Safety, productivity and even customer satisfaction can improve alongside efficiency gains. For example, some efficient lighting options reduce lumen degradation over time, leading to safer working conditions. Improved lighting quality and air comfort can lead to both better productivity and a better customer experience. Take a close look at your project to evaluate all of the ways it will serve your organization.
  • Peers and competitors may already be more efficient. Whenever possible, offer examples of successful projects in similar businesses, climates or facilities. Seeing the results of similar efficiency measures helps your leaders understand how other organizations are adapting to efficient technology advances. What’s more, real-life examples can provide assurance of the savings and benefits associated with such projects.
  • Energy savings make other gains possible. Try translating energy savings into measures your leaders can relate to. You can drive home the value of energy savings by stating them in terms of other business gains. For example, annual cost savings can be presented as increased earnings per share, an equivalent increase in product sales, additional full-time employee equivalents, etc. By saving energy, it’s possible to achieve the same results, financially speaking, as other business activities.
  • Progress will be monitored and results tracked. Be sure to lay out how and with what frequency your efficiency upgrade will be monitored and results reported. Commit to evaluating the success and return on your installed efficiency measures. (Hint: Our energy efficiency specialists can help you with this task.) Not only does this send a strong message to leadership that your proposed project will lead to tangible success, it also builds a case for future efficiency improvements. When you demonstrate the savings achieved and gains made through one efficiency upgrade, you can start to build a groundswell for future efficiency initiatives and getting additional funding requests approved may become easier.

Use us to craft your pitch

Not a number-cruncher by nature? That’s okay. The energy efficiency specialists at Xcel Energy have got your back. They have the tools and data to generate calculations specific to your proposed project. Enlist our help by calling an energy efficiency specialist at 1-855-839-8862. You can also find information about rebates and other efficiency programs here.


Helping organizations get in touch with their energy-efficient sides. Technology enthusiast and champion of rebates for businesses. Thrives on researching and writing about building and process improvements.

Road safety
Xcel Energy interns
Clean energy
clean energy