I saw this post in NYT, where one Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, persuaded Green Mountain Coffee to go for efficient blowers (which would cost the latter a bit) so that it can cut costs in electricity. The company will save about 8000$ in the electricity bill everytime, by buying better blowers at the cost of 4000$, which is one time.
Says one Carl Pop, Efficiency is the steak. Renewable is the sizzler.
So, it seems that consulting in energy efficiency to persuade people to go for better equipment is a lucrative business. But it is the job of the consulting agency to write some good RoI proposals and convince the customer. In case, where the customer is a consumer (at the bottom of the pyramid of energy hoggers), and is not willing to pay the extra cost, the article talks about one company which is willing to put the money forward and takes a fraction of the profit that the consumer realizes. There are just different business models around this to cater to different customers having different needs, FUDs etc.
The main pitch is that by saving electricity (for e.g), construction of new power plants, laying new transmissions, or upgradation of power equipment at a larger level can be avoided which is saved money. But, what if the customer having started to realize the savings goes for more production? Won’t the upgradation of stuff become necessary sooner or later? With most of the fellas being capitalists, who are becoming greedy (often disguised as growth), I doubt whether there will be savings in a bigger sense. May be just that the consulting firm makes money out of it. 🙂