Energy Efficiency in a COVID-19 Era

by Haakon Haakenson

In our previous post, “4 Keys to a Successful Recycling Program,” Erik outlined the importance of capital, time, knowledge, & motivation in the implementation of recycling programs. All four of these key elements also apply to the successful implementation of energy efficiency projects, but in my experience, the biggest barrier to an Energy Efficiency project happening is not a lack of knowledge, motivation or time… it’s capital. In fact, the #1 point that a project stalls or dies is when capital is requested. In a COVID-19 world, the challenges associated with securing capital are magnified significantly.

COVID-19: An Unprecedented Challenge

No single private citizen, small business, corporation, or government could have predicted the full scope & continually unfolding circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the current situation, most entities are strapped for cash. They’ve effectively been left “holding the bag” for payment of mortgages, leases, salaries or other expenses during the recent economic downturn.

The future is uncertain, and we don’t know exactly when businesses will reopen, when employees will return to work, how fast the economy will recover, or whether a second COVID-19 wave will occur.

Prior to COVID-19, it was relatively certain that a resource efficiency program that resulted in a 2-3 year payback would receive an honest consideration by most stakeholders. That is no longer the case. Now, we are all focused on navigating the next couple of weeks or months.

Problem-solving: Creativity is THE Key

Now is the time to think creatively about how to finance projects. Just because cash is scarce, it doesn’t mean that projects can’t occur. Many options exist to enable the resulting savings of a project to service the cost, whether it be an equipment lease, “furniture and fixture loan” or C-PACER financing (new to Washington)

During period of COVID stay-home orders, the Resource Synergy team has doubled-down on our creative problem solving, crafting a new suite of services that enable our clients to experience a future that is more profitable and resilient than the pre-COVID past. In subsequent posts, we’ll discuss some of the resulting innovation.