Morals needed in the green tech gold rush
6 September 2010, News release from powerPerfector
Energy efficiency is key to our future but do not believe everything you hear, writes powerPerfector CEO Angus Robertson
There is a commonly held belief that people involved in selling 'green technology' are conscience-driven 'good people' and invariably it is true. Your average green campaigning champion for change is more likely to give up their seat on a train or help an old lady across the street. But the huge 'green' business opportunity that is presented draws in other characters.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency were once the domain of a select group of concerned professionals who were committed to persuading decision-makers that adoption of energy efficiency and sustainability was as good for the bottom line as it was for the environment - it was hard work and they should be applauded for their vision.
But now, the drivers of high energy costs, legal requirement under the CRCEES and the business continuity risks as we move towards the 'energy gap' have given birth to a much broader need for solutions to be implemented quickly.
Fortunately the solutions are out there but, as they are mostly technical, decision-makers are understandably wary and they are right to be. Decide in haste - repent at leisure.
The energy efficiency market is growing quickly, fuelled by the confluence of drivers that in part are defined as 'business risks'. Technologies will be invented, copied and marketed to address those risks. Most of the technology, the people and products will be reliable, good, concerned and professional. Others will not be.
The green revolution - like the gold rush and the dot-com boom - is bound to bring in some illusionists - snake oil salesmen - people with no moral imperative in their hunt for crumbs off the table of opportunity.
Take our own market of Supply Optimisation. When powerPerfector Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO) technology was bought to the UK from Japan in 2001, nobody had ever heard of a custom-made technology that would reduce your electricity consumption at the point of supply - so we really did create the now loosely-termed 'Voltage Optimisation' market.
Our technology is redefining electricity supply as it generates average savings of 13 per cent on our installations. So far, we have saved £54 million and 345,000 tons of carbon dioxide and all on the supply side with this remarkable, proven technology. Supply-side installations hold far more risk than demand-side ones - if low energy lights or motors fail it can be worked around - if the supply goes down tens of thousands of pounds can be lost and the risk to the organisation escalates dramatically.
Having installed as many as 60 powerPerfectors a week, we are experts. Install the wrong technology and the risk to plant, machinery and business operation spirals. This happened in Japan at the end of the 1990s - after a major fire was traced back to 'copycat' technology, the mistaken consequence was a drop in demand for a completely reliable technology. As we approach the 'energy gap' we cannot let that happen in the UK, so we need to alert the market to the risks that 'copycat' technology poses. As a rule of thumb, the fewer points of failure the better. Beware of overcomplicated solutions with multiple different components.
The market, like our core values, has to be professional, to have integrity, transparency and respect for all its participants. The whole energy efficiency market, and the confidence to invest in it, suffers dramatically if these principles are not applied universally.
I am often asked how we have grown our annual sales from £5.2 million to £30 million in three years, been referred to as the "Green Holy Grail" (FT.com) and complimented by Jonathon Porritt when he said: "companies have to answer this: why won't this technology help my company - right now?". I believe it is because professional FMs, Energy Managers and Electrical Engineers, charged with both the security of their buildings and achieving energy saving, trust us, and know that Voltage Power Optimisation is distinct in performance and reliability from the generic voltage optimisation market.
The challenges ahead for business and government are huge in the fight to safely reduce carbon, energy costs, and mitigate the real risk the energy gap poses to business continuity over the next two to 15 years. The best technologies will have to be invested in and powerPerfector is one that addresses all these issues, along with a moral commitment from our now 100-strong team who will help 'green' your premises and the rest of the UK as safely and as quickly as possible.
For further information please email powerPerfector