With Oil Prices Low, Don’t Forget about Renewables

Oil prices are at their lowest in six years, which gives us all a break at the pump, but has little to no direct impact on the cost of energy.

At first glance, it may seem that lower oil prices make efficient and renewable energy a tougher sell, but because oil is primarily related to transportation rather than the generation of energy, the drop in oil does not result in a decline for adoption of renewables. However, energy investments are often lumped together, which can artificially lower green technology valuations in light of the drop in oil, and the relationship between the two can often be confused by pundits and decision makers.

While we ride through this current oil boom, it will be important for green energy companies to continue to educate their customers on why a conversion to more distributed generation and renewables is so important. Here are a few tips for engaging with decision makers about their energy needs.

Utilize the current events to set up a meeting with prospects.
Acknowledging that oil and energy are likely on prospects’ minds is a great “in” to set up time to talk and offer advice. Read up on what the current conditions mean for green technology and renewables here, here and here to be prepared to address any misinformation that business owners might have.

Remind business owners that fossil fuels are a limited resource.
A Bernstein research analyst states that as a technology, renewable energy costs will go down, while as an extractive product, fossil fuel costs almost always increase. So while costs may be equitable at this point in time, renewable energy and green technologies will only become more cost effective over time. In the last year alone, the average long-term cost of large-scale solar energy dropped by 20%, according to a report by Lazard.

Use any savings on gas costs to fund energy improvements.
For businesses with gasoline-based transportation costs, the current respite could serve as a source of funding for the firm’s next investment in energy. Energy firms can reach out to prospects with the reminder that along with incentives, there is a potential source of cash right at the fingertips of decision makers to take that next step into an energy upgrade.

Learn more about how to talk to energy prospects by visiting EMA’s Energy + Sustainability specialty group.