Think Energy Efficiency Investments are Costly? Think Again!

A recent article in Industry Week on Sustaining a Green Strategy, which described Dow Chemical’s pursuits to become more energy efficient and further reduce its energy footprint another 25% by 2015, had a very telling number buried in the article. A very significant number. To some, a very shocking number.

Dow has saved 7 Billion with investments into energy efficiency. SEVEN BILLION!

Think about that while also thinking about how many deals you have to negotiate to get that kind of savings in an average Fortune 500. Considering that, on a large direct spend category, 3% is the average savings an organization will find as it negotiates the same hundred-million dollar category again and again, if the average deal size is 100 Million, that’s 2,334 negotiations to get the same savings. (Well, not exactly, as some deals will save 10%, but since other deals will only save 1% due to skyrocketing prices, it’s not far off.)

It’s true that Dow has made 2 Billion in energy efficiency investments to date, but Dow also avoided 9 Billion in energy expenditures from these investments, giving it a net savings of 7 Billion to date — with more savings accruing every day as energy prices continue to rise. And when you consider the constant demands for power from lighting, heating, cooling, and computing that a modern organization is subjected to, it doesn’t take long for an investment to pay off — and it will keep paying off year after year. So make the investment, even if you have to take out a loan to do so. The savings will pay the interest many, many times over.