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Electricity and TPE/SME: Optimizing energy management

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Optimize energy costs, expenses, consolidate its strategy… In a mixed recovery, TP/SMEs need to consider, in addition to developing strategically, to clean up their day-to-day management as best as possible, in order to limit the vagaries. In this context, energy costs are often overlooked. With the end of regulated tariffs (1), it is time to look into the issue…

The end of energy bills deferrals

The end of regulated tariffs also coincides with the end of invoice deferrals. Last March (2), the TPEs benefiting from the solidarity fund benefited from a deferral of payment. The deferral concerned theirenergy and gas payments, in addition to rents (3). A request for amicable deferral had to be made to its suppliers in this regard (4).

The invoices concerned were those due on 12 March 2020, until the end of the health emergency. While the state of health emergency has just been extended until 16 February 2021, it is not yet known whether the deferral measures will do the same.

For those who are no longer beneficiaries of the solidarity fund, or those whose activity has nevertheless, partially, taken over, we must therefore start paying our bills again… The context is thus open to taking a few moments to analyze its suppliers. The government-set Regulated Gas and Electricity Sales Rates (LRTs) have not been issued since January 1, 2020, under the Energy-Climate Act. According to an ENI-IFOP study (1), SMEs in New Aquitaine are well aware of this (94%). They see it as a “good thing”, at least a way of liberalizing the market.

It remains to choose now its energy suppliers, optimizing the management of costs, but not that…

The energy price argument, insufficient for SMEs to contract

While the weight of energy loads is always an argument put forward for switching contractors, in New Aquitaine, SMEs do not seem to attach importance to it. While acknowledging their high energy dependence, only 3 out of 10 believe that the “price” factor will be decisive in the choice of supplier. The leaders, at almost 40%, consider their energy cost to be rather low.

In fact, when choosing their new suppliers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will focus on quality of service. They also favour dedicated business contact, as close as possible to their requirements.

As a result, companies such as ENI, an energy company, are highly acclaimed, showing a rather high overall satisfaction among its customers. It should be noted that ENI has thus achieved in France, in 2019, more than 2.4 billion euros in sales…

How do you put in place a good management of your professional energy bill?

Beyond the attractiveness of a particular supplier, before any decision to change or adjust their contract, SMEs must first and foremost make a precise point about their energy consumption. After this state of affairs (consumption, costs, etc.), managers can get closer to several suppliers. The goal is to better understand their needs and determine the type of offer most suited to their business.

In this sense, it may also be necessary to anticipate the future needs, in the context of a particular development, of an opening or closure of a site, or even a modernization of its machines, resulting in such an impact on consumption. The flexibility of the offer, in these uncertain times, can also be a criterion of choice… Associated services, such as rapid response to malfunctions, support for energy work can be additional criteria to be taken into account. Eni in this sense has developed a website forprofessionals to better understand this transition.

Reducing consumption can also turn to managing sustainable energy and an eco-responsible business.

Going further in addressing the energy impact

To go further, especially under the Recovery Plan framework, why not consider considering the energy impact in future industrial investments? Beyond a fashion effect, or a marketing strategy, “eco-responsible” companies also value their values to their customers.

It is now a strategic reality, one of the criteria for decision-making, that is to take environmental issues into account. This strategy focuses on CSR – Social and Environmental Responsibility. It can thus impact not only the reduction of energy consumption and costs, but also all the company’s processes (travel, product design, purchases, etc.). This is enough to promote, directly or indirectly, better competitiveness.

Environmental awareness and a reorientation of the productive apparatus are the key to the sustainable development of production activities.

Ademe

While the Recovery Plan appears to favour industrial investment as well as the implications of a sustainable, eco-responsible plant, ADEME (6) estimates that the reduction in energy consumption could reach 9% by 2030, compared to 2010.

To this end, the actions to be carried out are based on energy efficiency (choice of more suitable materials, improvement of the conduct of industrial processes). They also take into account the recycling aspect of raw materials, or the integration of renewable energies at the heart of industrial processes. More in depth, the buildings themselves, dedicated to entrepreneurial activity, can be renovated, and this energy renovation is now, in a sustainable way, encouraged by the public authorities.

Sources:

  1. ENI/IFOP News Release – Businesses in the New Aquitaine region face their energy bills at the end of regulated tariffs, October 2020
  2. LOI No. 2020-290 of March 23, 2020 urgently to deal with the covid-19 epidemic
  3. Postponement of payment of rents and invoices,Ministry of Economy
  4. The deferral of payment of rent, gas, electricity, BPIFrance.
  5. Eni National Survey – Ifop “The leaders of TPE – SMEs and the end of TRVs”. Sample of 802 company executives with 10 to 249 employees, from 6 to 20 February 2020.
  6. The factory of the future and eco-responsible companies,ADEME, April 2019.
  7. Recovery plan – Energy renovation.
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