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Perspective: Maintenance outperforms Wall Street by 10 times

By Eric Woodruff and Eric Mazzi, for

Mar 12, 2019

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As verified by nearly 40 years of Industrial Assessment Center energy audits in over 15,000 different manufacturing plants, maintenance-related energy saving ideas usually have the quickest paybacks, mostly because the capital investment is minimal to “maintain” a system you already have.

In early 2018, I published an article comparing the financial benefits of placing one dollar in the stock market (Dow Jones Index) for 10 years vs. putting one dollar in a typical energy management project. The energy project was far less risky and produced more than double the ROI of the stock-based investment. The energy investment also beat the stock investment performance in 8 out of 10 years.

But it is important to note that in last year’s article, my analysis only claimed the energy project had a 20 percent ROI per year. However, the maintenance-related projects within this article will almost always have over a 100% return on investment per year, so these ideas are roughly 5 times better than the analysis I did last year – meaning that they’re more than 10 times better than Wall Street’s performance.

So if you’re going to prioritize investments and energy, think about maintenance. In tough times, maintenance budgets are typically cut first, but doing so is actually a huge mistake when you consider the return on investment.

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