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Published: Monday September 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday September 23, 2013 MYT 10:29:23 AM
A new normal for local SMEs
BY JOY LEE
PHOTOS BY FAIHAN GHANI

A worker carries a car bumper in a factory that supplies exterior plastic parts for Volkswagen. European SMEs have more experience in implementing energy-efficiency solutions. Increasingly, their Malaysian counterparts will have to focus on becoming more energy efficient to compete in global markets.

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The GREEN talk has been going on for a while now.
But with the government moving to reduce the country’s reliance on subsidies for fuel, energy efficiency and sustainability are becoming important elements for businesses to look into as a means of controlling costs.
The pump price of fuel was recently raised by 20 sen. As a result of this a hike in the cost of almost everything else is expected to follow.
The need for energy efficiency is particularly telling for the small and medium enterprises (SME) given that they don’t always have the economies of scale that larger corporations do.
The rising cost of energy will be a new challenge for SMEs in their quest to stay ahead of the curve in increasingly competitive markets. Kenmart: Being energy efficient is not just about cutting your cost of energy. It is also about being more productive in using your energy.
“Looking at the current situation, SMEs will need to look at alternatives to differentiate themselves in the market. Energy efficiency is not just hype. It will help them to be more cost-competitive,” said Kristo Kenmart, head of industry business for Schneider Electric Industries (M) Sdn Bhd.
The Schneider Electric Group is a French multinational corporation that specialises in energy management. It currently has operations in more than 100 countries.
“In Malaysia, we have seen a lot of changes over the past year. Minimum wages are rising and the price of petrol has

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