In the past year, Mitsidi Projetos carried out energy audits in dozens of buildings and industrial plants, including commercial buildings, co-working spaces, restaurants, datacenters, among others. And the result was: investing in sustainability is cheaper than the owners and operators had imagined.

“In both commercial and industrial sectors, it is possible to achieve at least 10% energy savings with almost no investment”, claims André De Dominicis, an associate at Mitsidi and expert in industrial energy efficiency.

What we see is people spending a lot of money on misconfigured systems, outdated maintenance and temporary fixes. This is a more common practice than most imagine. In some old buildings, the low cost efficiency measures can provide even higher economies – around 30%.

“Potential is huge. But what we see is the market going after expensive solutions, as the installation of photovoltaic panels and retrofit without reviewing productive or operational processes”, says Edward Borgstein, Mitsidi’s founder and responsible for the development of energy performance benchmarking platforms throughout Latin America.

Despite their potential, photovoltaic systems aren’t still viable in large scale on commercial and industrial markets, despite cheaper tariffs. This is due the equipment payback time – between 7 and 9 years. Another solution often studied by energy managers is the supply contract migration from captive market to free energy market. However, without a long-term study that considers contracts’ risks and features, this measure becomes ineffective.

What can we conclude?

Economy with zero cost measures presents an opportunity of cash reserve for more expensive and complex measures. At the same time, they help to reduce greenhouse gases emissions immediately. “Some measures we find in industry, for example, have shown payback times shorter than 2 months. The results have surprised even our team, which is used to finding opportunities with payback times shorter than one year”, ends André.