How Energy Storage can Benefit Corporate Budgeting: Reliable Electricity Spending in 2023 and Beyond
Challenges of Predicting Your Electricity Spend
As one calendar year slowly turns to a new one, many companies are deep in their corporate budgeting season. Evaluating financial health over the past 12 months and planning for what can be done better in the year ahead or beyond is imperative for any successful company. Many company leaders may look to the typical budget items for optimization: supply chains, efficient business practices, etc. However, one aspect of the budget too often gets overlooked: energy bills.
For those who don’t pay much mind to energy, utility bills simply seem like an automatic line item over which the company has little control. Business operations require a certain level of energy consumption, the local utility sets the rates, and nothing further is considered. Sometimes energy rates change unexpectedly (e.g., the war in Ukraine has led to higher energy prices), and that volatility is just baked in as an uncontrollable risk for the company.
Perhaps some companies recognize tangible opportunities to take control, from simple energy efficiency practices to more complex time-of-use energy rates and load shifting. For a majority of companies, that is the beginning and end of the approach. But one of the most opportune ways to ensure reliable and affordable electricity spending for a company moving into 2023 and beyond may have gone unexplored in the board meeting this year.
To sum it up, installing a battery storage or solar-plus-storage system is hassle-free to take control of energy costs without a change to operations. Plus, the resulting cost savings free up capital for other business priorities or demands.
Energy Storage and Solar-Plus-Storage Explained
Energy storage systems allow electricity to be stored—and then discharged—at the most strategic times. Today, Lithium-ion batteries, the same batteries that are used in cell phones and electric vehicles, are the most commonly used type of energy storage. Like the batteries in your cell phone, commercial-, industrial-, and utility-scale battery energy storage systems can be charged with electricity from the grid, stored, and discharged when there is a deficit in supply or when energy is most expensive.
Increasingly, battery energy storage is being paired with solar PV. Solar-plus-storage is a battery system that is charged by a connected solar system, such as a photovoltaic (PV) one. In other words, solar-plus-storage combines a battery energy storage system with solar PV to reduce a customer’s energy costs and carbon footprint at the same time.
The use of solar-plus-storage has been gaining favor for companies recently, especially as equipment costs for both batteries and solar panels continue to drop. The main drivers for such installations include:
- Allowing companies to use solar when they most need it, even if the sun isn’t shining
- Increasing the amount of solar energy that can be utilized, storing excess generation for later use
- Increasing resiliency in the case of blackouts or grid outages
Battery storage, and solar-plus-storage in particular, can support two core business priorities: managing rising costs (inflation) and sustainability performance.
How Energy Storage or Solar-Plus-Storage System Lower the Budget
Energy rates charged by a utility can increase and decrease without much recourse for a company that is locked into a contract with its power provider. However, a battery storage or solar-plus-storage system offers a company the ability to retake control of its energy budget. By partnering with an energy storage developer like Convergent Energy and Power (Convergent), companies can lock in lower power bills for 10 or even 20 years, making it easier to reduce and forecast future energy costs.
Energy storage helps companies reduce their reliance on the power they buy from the grid; it allows companies to store energy when it is least expensive and dispatch when it is most expensive to save companies up to 40% on their annual energy bills. With solar-plus-storage, the batteries are charged with solar PV.
If you’re wondering whether you have to budget for battery storage or solar-plus-storage system … the short answer is no! Convergent, for example, fully finances its energy storage and solar-plus-storage systems and shares in the savings with its customers, including Ford and Shell.
How it works: Convergent finances, designs, constructs, and operates the battery storage or solar-plus-storage system. Convergent offers a pay-for-performance contract in which the revenues and shared between both parties. This financing model makes energy storage and solar-plus-storage so accessible that no realistic hurdles remain.
If the unpredictable power rates are a concern to your company, you should seek out information on how energy storage or solar-plus-storage solutions can pair perfectly with your needs. Further, if your corporate mandates from leadership, investors, local regulators, or even your customers are pushing you to reduce your carbon footprint, these systems can help get you over the finish line while saving money.
The bottom line: you don’t have to spend money to save money on energy. You just need the right partner. Sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t.
Energy Storage, Solar-Plus-Storage, and Your Business
Energy is expensive and, for a majority of our customers, prices are only going up. Energy savings are more critical than ever to businesses facing tight margins, competition, and supply chain issues. Plus, a majority of businesses are looking for smarter, greener, and cheaper electricity, especially this time of year. With energy storage or solar-plus storage, it’s possible to have all three of these benefits at the same time.
At Convergent, we have over a decade of expertise developing industrial-scale energy storage and solar-plus-storage systems that deliver 7-figure savings to our customers over the life of the system. We remotely dispatch the batteries at the most strategic, cost-effective times, removing the responsibility of operating or maintaining the system. In other words, it’s hassle-free.
We are happy to work with your team to determine if energy storage or solar-plus-storage is right for your needs—and we love saving businesses money on their energy bills.