Going green is imperative for business success as fuel prices continue to skyrocket. Bill Roth explains why.
Is your business ready for natural gas prices that are three times higher than last year’s?
How are you planning to handle today’s price pump pain?
“Cost more,” is the new fossil fuel reality. But there is an alternative to wallet pain. The good news is that clean technologies can save your business money…now!
Why Natural Gas Prices Are Soaring
The bottom line on natural gas is that natural gas fracking investors want a better bottom line.
Fracking generated a massive increase in U.S. natural gas supplies which drove down consumer prices to $2 per mmbtu or less. But fracking companies do not generate attractive profits at these price levels, so they are managing their drilling to move consumer natural gas prices to levels that are more profitable.
At the same time, global natural gas demand has dramatically increased. With low natural gas prices utilities switched from coal to natural gas. Yet, with today’s higher natural gas prices, the utilities around the world are switching back to coal. Over the next ten years, even with higher natural gas prices, consumers and governments will look to natural gas rather than coal as their fossil fuel of choice because of its lower climate changing emissions.
What all this means to your business will be evident in this winter’s higher natural gas bills.
Why We Are Experiencing Pump Price Pain Again
Supply and demand also explain the jump in pump prices. OPEC and Russia are constraining global incremental oil supplies to drive up prices. At the same time, oil demand is surging from America’s thirst for gas guzzling, full-size pick-up trucks/SUVs combined with China’s emergence as the world’s largest gasoline engine vehicle buyer. The end result is today’s $3-4 per gallon prices at the pump.
How to Slash Your Fossil Fuel Costs
Use less, or even better stop using, is the simple answer to how to manage your soaring fossil fuel costs. Thanks to clean tech this no longer means having colder buildings in winter or driving vehicles that might offer better gas mileage but at the cost of reduced performance.
For your buildings, clean technologies like LED lighting, smart load control systems and high efficiency heat pumps now deliver financial paybacks that can range between less than 6 month to 24 months. With today’s historically low interest rates, getting approval for clean tech investments from your company’s CFO or a bank loan for your small business has never been easier.
Even better, there is now a financially viable path for using solar electricity to reduce electric bills. Panel costs for rooftop solar equipment are almost a tenth of what they were 10 years ago. Solar system prices are still higher than they need to be due to externality costs like local building code compliance that still treats solar like a risky new technology and utilities still creating barriers against a competing electricity supply. But even so, in many states solar is a very viable option for achieving lower costs and zero emissions.
If your business places a high valuation on electricity reliability then a solar/battery system can be a solution that will be more reliable while also reducing utility costs. Battery prices are now approaching the DOE’s breakthrough target of $100/kWh.
In terms of pump price pain, it is past time for your business to investigate electric vehicles. Today’s electric vehicles cost more at procurement but are a net lower cost compared to fossil fueled vehicles over the life of the vehicles. All the world’s automobile manufacturers are gearing up to mass produce electric vehicles which will drive down prices while increasing selection options. Don’t wait for the “right price” for the “right” electric vehicle. Buy an electric vehicle now to capture learning and prepare your team for a disruptive change in vehicles and vehicle operations.
All of the above will lower your fossil fuel costs. They will also win customers and investors!
Going green is not a political statement. It is a business reality. No business can afford to ignore that 25% of consumers are now buying, or not buying, products based on how that product aligns with their values.
No business can afford to ignore the tidal wave shift by investors and bankers into demanding both profitability and ESG results. For 2021 green bond investment is projected to reach $500 billion. Global ESG assets are estimated at $53 trillion and are on track to being three times larger by 2025. What that means to your small business is that investors and banks are now evaluating your business and loans based on your ESG capabilities.
Save money. Win customers. Make a difference.
Isn’t it time for your business to stop paying more for natural gas, diesel and gasoline? Use today’s higher fossil fuel prices as motivation for finding your business path into a 21st century where the secret sauce for making money and winning customers is green!