• Energy as a Service
  • Manufacturing Supply
  • Economic Loss
  • Resilience
  • COVID-19

Energy as a Service Solutions Help Manufacturing Companies Restart Operations

May 12, 2020

Utilities Sector 3

As COVID-19-related impacts take their toll on the manufacturing sector, many companies are already thinking about their plans to reopen and resume operations. Federal social distancing guidelines were extended through the end of April, yet Boeing and a few other manufacturing companies restarted US operations earlier that month. Some states, such as Georgia and Texas, plan to allow nonessential businesses to reopen later in May. 

Planning for Ongoing Challenges

For most manufacturing companies, restarting operations isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. Reduced consumer demand, lingering employee health concerns, supply chain delays, and an inability to scale production are major roadblocks that make it difficult for manufacturing companies to reopen and threaten to stymie their future efforts—even when social distancing guidelines are lifted. By facilitating capital improvements and reducing supply chain dependency, energy as a service (EaaS) solutions serve as a proactive measure to help manufacturing companies reduce risk and increase operational efficiency, making it easier to resume operations when it is safe to do so. 

Scalable and Accessible Improvements

EaaS providers can enable manufacturing and logistics companies to install much-needed improvements like lighting retrofits, smart meters, and solar-powered generators to control energy spend. The financing model, in which improvements are paid back to EaaS providers in the form of energy savings, enables these investments to be scalable and accessible for companies that might not have immediate capital. 
In addition to reducing cost in energy spend, these capital improvements have two important benefits for helping jumpstart operations:

  1. Some improvements such as smart lighting and metering technologies use Internet of Things networks to optimize energy spend based on peak use and environmental conditions. Taking advantage of these technologies enables manufacturing and logistics companies to increase operational efficiency and reduce plant idle time 
  2. By installing renewable and alternative energy technologies such as microgrids and solar panels, manufacturing companies can partly reduce their dependency on energy suppliers. By decreasing their reliance on third parties for energy, companies can help ensure operational continuity and are better able to scale operations by taking ownership of their energy supply.
Resume Operations with Reduced Costs and Risks

EaaS solutions are a powerful tool that manufacturing companies can employ when creating plans for resuming operations. These solutions can help manufacturing companies prepare for reopening by reducing costs, reducing risk, and improving operational efficiency by taking ownership of their energy use and supply. To learn more about opportunities for EaaS solutions within the manufacturing sector, read Guidehouse Insights’ recently published report, Energy as a Service for Logistics and Light Manufacturing.