Embracing creative energy: 7 ways you can help your business prosper
Any successful business knows that if you stand still, you may as well be taking a giant leap backwards. In a world being constantly redefined by technology, only those who embrace change will be able to thrive.
New opportunities are everywhere, but you have to be set up correctly to spot them. And when you do, you need to think creatively to turn them in to a competitive advantage.
Becoming more energy efficient is no exception. In fact, it can be a vital pillar to help businesses achieve more profitable, more sustainable and more secure futures.
So what can your business do to make sure it’s set up to tackle these challenges in the best way possible? We asked some of E.ON’s most creative thinkers to pick out some of the most important qualities a business could have.
Every business is unique. No matter what you produce and how you operate, there will be nuances and details that are particular to you. So your energy solutions should be unique too. “Whenever we work with a business we always ask at an early stage ‘what are your demands in terms of energy?’, but also ‘what are other surrounding elements like?’,” Jan Kurrelvink, E.ON Solution Design & Business Development Director, says. “A business may have special waste that needs to be taken care of, or particular environmental targets to be met. When you’re looking for maximum energy efficiency, you can’t do ‘copy and paste’ solutions.”
A commitment to a sustainable future is just that – thinking beyond the ‘now’. If you want to implement energy efficient measures that have a genuine impact, you need a long-term roadmap for them. “The nature of our discussions with businesses is not just about solving short-term problems,” Garance Emmerich-Bundel, Head of Product Management and Engineering at E.ON, says. “It’s about trying to understand and predict how a range of different scenarios and solutions can drive better energy consumption in the long run.”
Push tech boundaries
If you have a hatchback and want to turn it into a Ferrari, you can’t just paint it red. You need to invest in new hardware, new software and new innovative solutions. “New technologies are helping us be smarter and faster in making our energy decisions,” Emmerich-Bundel says. “This is a very exciting space, it’s developing quickly, and for businesses, embracing digital technology is an essential part of improving energy infrastructure.”
Data, data, data
Businesses already know that data is their friend. But knowing what to do with that data is much harder than it appears. “Structuring the data you have in formats that can be used for monitoring and forecasting in real time is key,” Cavin Pietzsch, Vice President Energy Efficiency at E.ON, says. “This is why we work with Sight Machine. We wanted to use their capabilities and skills to enrich a customer’s overall solution portfolio. Even with CHP we are using Sight Machine to look at the pain points and optimise. It creates a much larger impact for any business.”
Engage the whole company
Does the Head of Production or the Chief Finance Officer think about energy efficiency as a top priority? Not likely. They have a number of priorities, with output, cost savings or something similar as their end goal. But energy efficiency measures can affect a whole business model, so implementing them requires education, communication and motivation. “When working with a business, we face their IT team, automation team, production team, energy team, sometimes even the board,” Kurrelvink explains. “We have to ask questions and engage with them to consider every challenge.”
Thinking differently involves working differently. Creative energy means having an open mind, embracing fresh journeys and collaborating with people in innovative ways. “It requires you to let go of the old ways of working and taking a chance on the new,” Emmerich-Bundel says. “You need to be lean, light and quick to adapt to changes…you can see results very quickly and keep evolving the product.”
Take a leap of faith
If you’re working differently, if you’re thinking differently and if you’re planning differently, you need to have confidence in your approach. Using energy efficiency to affect genuine business change means buying into a belief that together, working with your partners and experts – you can create future value. “It’s about incorporating as much flexibility into our solutions as possible,” Kurrelvink says. “Even though we don’t know for sure what the future will look like, we can design and concept in a way that will really allow us to get the best out of what’s installed.” Intelligent solutions require extraordinary thinking.