Beyond the Meter: Integrating Your Energy Procurement Strategy with Your Decarbonisation Plans

Sustainability has become a buzzword in the business world and everyone is talking about “net zero”. The government’s target for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to be net zero by 2050 has caused many businesses to consider how they can help tackle climate change. However, achieving net zero doesn’t happen overnight. It involves embracing new ways of doing things, from travelling to work to heating buildings, and using innovative technologies to improve existing processes.

The drive towards achieving net zero isn’t only a commitment to environmental sustainability, but also an increasingly crucial aspect of business operations. By focusing on how you can reduce carbon emissions and save money, you can reap several benefits that have a knock-on effect on the rest of your business. An essential, yet often overlooked, part of any decarbonisation plan is energy procurement and below we have explored why businesses should look beyond the meter in more detail.

The Importance of Net Zero Strategies for Businesses

Creating a net zero strategy is a key step for businesses aiming to meet global sustainability targets. A net zero strategy involves setting clear targets to reduce emissions to as close to zero as possible and offsetting any remaining emissions. In practical terms, this means implementing energy-efficient technologies, moving towards renewable energy sources and optimising operational processes to reduce energy and resource consumption. Having a strategy in place will help you determine where to start and how to prioritise your actions.

For many businesses, a net zero strategy helps them preempt future regulations and avoid the financial risks associated with outdated practices. Not to mention, it ensures they remain competitive as consumer preferences shift towards sustainability. By proactively reducing your carbon footprint, you can contribute positively to global climate action and also unlock new opportunities for market differentiation and growth, ensuring long-term success in an increasingly eco-conscious world.

Decarbonisation is at the Centre of Net Zero Strategies

A key element of any net zero strategy is decarbonisation, which focuses on minimising carbon emissions to reduce environmental impact. For many businesses, the initial steps towards decarbonisation involve an energy audit that assesses energy consumption across operations. This process typically includes a detailed evaluation of how energy is used in different areas of a building, highlighting inefficiencies and identifying significant areas of energy waste. By addressing these findings, businesses can drastically reduce their carbon footprint and improve their overall energy management.

However, while reducing energy consumption is essential, how your energy is procured is equally important to achieving net zero. It can be easy to overlook, but energy procurement can have a significant impact on your environmental impact and your broader net zero strategy.

Understanding Energy Procurement

Energy procurement refers to how businesses source their gas and electricity. Unlike simply swapping energy suppliers, energy procurement involves a strategic approach to acquiring energy that meets your needs, supports your net zero goals and reduces ongoing costs. This strategy goes beyond selecting the lowest energy prices, it involves a meticulous process. Some key aspects of energy procurement include;

  • Data Collection – When it comes to energy procurement, data is invaluable. Capturing and analysing data on energy usage allows you to gain insights into your energy consumption and identify opportunities for energy savings. This data is critical for determining things like peak usage times, evaluating the effectiveness of energy-saving measures and understanding the overall energy spend. This data helps find the best products that match the demands of your business and deliver the best value.
  • Volume Tolerance – With a variety of tariffs and products on the market, it’s essential to determine which is right for your business. This involves understanding and forecasting the amount of energy needed, and requires a balance between the predicted and actual energy needs, allowing you to adjust your energy procurement strategies effectively. Volume tolerance helps to avoid over-purchasing or under-purchasing, and the additional charges you could incur.
  • Re-Forecasting – Your energy needs and the market conditions aren’t static, they change over time due to various factors such as business growth, technological advancements and economic shifts. Re-forecasting is a key process where you continuously update your energy strategies based on new data, trends and forecasts. This adaptability is essential for maintaining cost efficiency and ensuring your energy procurement remains aligned with both your needs and your net zero strategy.

Working with Energy Procurement Consultants

Navigating the energy market can be challenging, particularly when aligning procurement with sustainability goals. Agreeing to the wrong contract at the wrong time can be very expensive, especially for a business with high energy usage. Fortunately, energy procurement consultants can help you look beyond the meter and ensure you’re procuring your gas and electricity in the best way. These professionals offer end-to-end services that help you get the best products for your business and make the most of the ever-changing market. Their expertise ensures you benefit from contracts that are not only cost-effective but also flexible and sustainable.

At TEEAM, we streamline energy procurement for businesses and a clear example of how our consultants can help you reach your net zero target is the work we did with Meridian Trust. Following substantial growth, Meridian Trust needed to reconsider its energy strategy. We provided comprehensive support to maximise opportunities and minimise risks.

Our experts developed a new procurement strategy, moving from a fixed purchasing model to a purchase in advance flexible model, to navigate the changing environment. We used our existing knowledge and experience to provide advice and guidance, not only delivering better financial outcomes but also aligning energy procurement with net zero goals. You can read more about our work with Meridian Trust on our website.

Creating a Net Zero Strategy in the UK

All in all, the journey to net zero isn’t always straightforward, but it’s crucial for businesses to reduce their environmental impact. Integrating energy procurement strategies with decarbonisation plans can help future-proof your business against rising energy costs and changing environmental regulations. Not to mention, boost your public image and help you remain relevant in a competitive market. By focusing on strategic energy procurement, you can ensure your business is part of a sustainable future.

It’s fair to say that energy procurement consultants play an important role in your net zero journey and they can provide the expertise needed to navigate the energy market while ensuring your specific needs are being met. Their involvement can have a significant impact on both your bottom line and your sustainability efforts.

If you’re interested in creating a net zero strategy in the UK, TEEAM is here to help. As an alliance of industry-leading organisations, we have the experience and expertise required to support you on your decarbonisation journey. We provide a range of services, including energy procurement services, and can take your strategy from vision to reality. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your net zero goals in more detail.

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