When it comes to energy, most retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and small business owners rightfully think primarily about how much energy they are using in their establishment and of course, the cost of that energy.
Most employers concern themselves with how efficiently they are using energy and many are taking significant steps to be as efficient as possible. More and more however, employers are not only thinking about how efficiently they are using the resource but how efficiently the resource is being produced.
Small business owners know all too well the energy crunch in which they seem to permanently find themselves. Deemed “light commercial” by the energy companies, they don’t have nearly the levels of usage that the manufacturing sector has and therefore, don’t qualify for discounted rates.
Additionally, they don’t enjoy the subsidized rates that homeowners – as in voters — have gotten from local politicians and public utility commissions. They are caught in an energy Catch 22 — too small for the big discounts, not politically powerful enough to be subsidized. That dilemma is only getting worse as the modern tech and online economy continues to grow exponentially and the data centers that they rely on are placing new energy demands on the grid. Essentially modern online retailers are using energy at a rate that traditional manufacturers have and it is growing by the day.
For traditional retailers and small business owners, the squeeze is tightening and they are absorbing costs that their online competitors are shedding. And there really hasn’t been much they can do about it. That is until now.
Sustainability isn’t just about being green — its about having reliable sources of energy that their business and our national economy can rely on for generations. It’s smart business. That’s why more and more American companies are demanding renewable energy options to power their businesses than ever before, further proving that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive.
Fortune 500 companies from a wide variety of industries understand that clean energy not only reduces their carbon footprint, it also makes sound business sense impacting their bottom lines. Many retailers and small business operators are doing the same. They know that they have to not only achieve rate fairness in the near term but energy security in the long term — for their businesses and for the country.
As Ikea CFO Rob Olson recently said, “we are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact, but also because it makes good financial sense. We invest in our own re energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs and continue providing great value to our customers.”
With that same intent, many large employers have come together to form Employers for Renewable Energy to bring a business voice to the energy debate and use our collective efforts to push our energy companies to leverage renewable sources. We represent job creators nationwide who support federal and state policies that enable greater customer choice of renewable energy and strong competition among producers. That’s how we do business and that is how the energy producers should do business as well. Our economic future depends on it.