Business operators can cut their energy costs more successfully by improving their energy efficiency than by calling for government help, say energy service companies (Escos).
Arthit Vechakij, the managing director of Excellent Energy International Co, Thailand's first Esco, said energy expenses at some factories run much higher than labour costs.
"In my experience, some factories can cut costs by 10-30% by reducing energy expenses," he said, adding that businesses should therefore not waste their time asking for assistance.
Instead, they should think about how to save energy in factories, offices and transport activities.
Hin Navawongse, director of the Federation of Thai Industries' Institute of Industrial Energy, said the FTI has joined with the Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency Department to offer business matching between Escos and business operators in several provinces _ Chiang Mai, Songkhla, Prachin Buri, Ranong and Khon Kaen.
This will enable manufacturers to cut costs now that the daily minimum wage has risen to 300 baht nationwide.
"It will help businesses not only save costs but also enhance their international competitiveness in the long term," said Mr Hin.
"Businesses should realise it's better to invest in energy saving and energy efficiency because once the EU and US economies start to rebound, oil prices will start fluctuating again."
He said Thailand has a huge opportunity in this regard, as only a few hundred of the roughly 300,000 factories are energy-conscious.
Danai Egkamol, director of the department's Bureau of Energy Regulation and Conservation, said the government has fully supported the business matching programme through its Esco fund by offering tax holidays, investment privileges, grants and soft loans.
He expects 2013 will be another growth year for energy-saving equipment and services due to the increase in the daily minimum wage.
About the author
- Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter