Building a Business Case for Renewable Energy

An aerial photo of a field of solar panels.

Why should your company buy renewable energy anyway? Many sustainability professionals see renewables as a way to combat climate change. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find that every department at every organization will view the reasons for going carbon-free in a different way. Communications might see it as an opportunity for good PR. Finance might appreciate the budget certainty that comes with some types of renewable energy. The list goes on…

A well-articulated business case for renewable energy not only jumpstarts an organization’s procurement process; it helps to level-set across an organization by providing a constant reminder of the company’s why and guiding the organization towards the types of renewable energy solutions that best align with its goals and values.

CEBA’s member exclusive Building a Business Case for Renewable Energy Primer walks new large energy buyers through the process by outlining questions to ask to uncover company drivers and to promote action. The Primer examines criteria that may inform choices about the types of renewable energy solutions that work best for each organization, and offers lessons learned that illustrate how experienced buyers have approached the business case for their organizations.

  • What is your leadership team’s approach to renewables energy? Does the company want to lead or just keep up with the evolving market?
  • Are customers or investors asking your company power its operations sustainably? Could making the switch to renewable energy give you a leg up against your competition?
  • Could prioritizing renewable energy help you attract or retain talent? Potential employees are increasingly concerned about working for companies that are making the world a better place.
  • Might switching to renewable energy help control future costs or reduce your exposure to market volatility?

In many geographies, a wide variety of renewable energy solutions are available. Once you have your business case and have received support from the necessary stakeholders, the next step is to determine which types of renewable energy solutions are likely to be successful for your organization. Sometimes, creating the business case is intertwined with identifying suitable solution options; the processes aren’t always neat and sequential.When you truly understand the benefits of renewable energy to your organization, you will find it easier to gain initial buy-in, to identify best-fit solution types, to eventually obtain specific project approvals.

CEBA members can access the Building a Business Case for Renewable Energy Primer through CEBA InterConnect, a digital hub to help member companies accelerate their renewable energy goals. Not a member? Learn more about CEBA membership options.