Most business leaders are looking to improve the sustainability of their organizations. Going green has all sorts of advantages, from improving efficiency and cutting waste to attracting consumer attention and avoiding government penalties. Yet, unlocking these penalties without severely disrupting operations can feel impossible when leaders don’t have much experience with sustainable practices and technologies.

Thus, many organizations consider adding an energy consultant to their corporate team with the expectation that an expert will be better equipped for creating an effective and future-proof sustainability strategy. For some organizations, an energy consultant might be the right choice, but for others, it might be best to train existing leadership with a business sustainability management online course. Here are some pros and cons of hiring an energy consultant, so business leaders can make better decisions for their circumstances.

Pros of Hiring an Energy Consultant

Resources and Knowledge. Energy consultants have devoted their careers to understanding every aspect of energy, from consumption to output to efficiency, so when businesses hire consultants, they gain a trustworthy source of information and resources. The more experience an energy consultant has, the better for businesses. As long as leaders look for a consultant with years in the industry and a large network of connections, they can benefit from accurate and comprehensive energy advice.

Tech Integrations. Sustainability is a hot trend in all industries, including tech. There is an overwhelming amount of technology targeting business leaders interested in improving their energy efficiency. However, business leaders may find it challenging to discover options because they lack insight and perspective in the energy field. An energy consultant can point organizations toward tech integrations that make the most sense, saving time, money, and hassle.

Tax Breaks. Often, business leaders associate climate change and government regulation with higher costs. However, energy consultants can help organizations find solutions that give them access to good tax breaks, making sustainable practices more economical. Understanding and taking full advantage of tax breaks can be difficult, so it is useful to have a knowledgeable and experienced professional like an energy consultant assisting with this process.

Consumer Clout. Research shows that an overwhelming majority of consumers prefer to support sustainable brands. Because energy consumption has a significant role in climate change, taking a step toward energy efficiency like hiring an energy consultant signals to consumers that an organization is committed to sustainable development in meaningful ways. Workers, too, can feel encouraged when their employer demonstrates an interest in participating in the public good, and company morale tends to inform a business’s broader cultural reputation.

Passion. Few energy consultants enter the field in pursuit of sky-high salaries or unparalleled prestige. Instead, energy consultants tend to be passionate about sustainability and enthusiastic about helping organizations become more energy efficient for the sake of communities and the environment. The passion and energy consultant brings to an organization can be contagious, bolstering business leaders to invest in sustainability to a greater degree.

Cons of Hiring an Energy Consultant

Cost. Business leaders have two choices for how they utilize the services of an energy consultant: They can hire a consultant in-house or use a third-party energy consulting firm. In either case, there are costs associated with leveraging the knowledge and resources of an energy consultant. Fortunately, the energy savings the consultant can help businesses generate might cover these costs and more.

Goals. Ostensibly, energy consultants and their clients share the common goals of saving money and saving the environment. However, many business leaders have more specific goals for their business sustainability plans, and it can be challenging to communicate these goals to someone new or outside the organization. Business leaders must be reasonably certain that they can communicate their goals clearly to any consultant they hire; otherwise, they are likely to be disappointed by what the consultant can achieve for their business.

Business leaders should weigh these pros and cons to determine whether an energy consultant will provide useful assistance in reaching an organization’s unique sustainability goals. More often than not, an energy consultant is a valuable resource in making a company greener for the future.