Natural gas brokers are calling you with offers that will save you big, vendors are inundating you with information about the next great energy saving device, your carbon footprint is out of control, and the government has just passed new environmental legislation that greatly impacts your operations. How do you make sense of all of this? Who you gonna call? Well Ray, Egon, and Venkman are out saving the world from the Stay Puffed Marsh-Mellow Man. So unless you already have an energy management team, chances are you don’t have a resource with the expertise to help you in any of these areas, much less all of them.
According to the Energy Information Administration, commercial end users spend upwards of $160 billion dollars each year on natural gas and electricity. How can we spend less? How can we use less? How can we have a smaller impact on the environment? You need support, and an energy manager can help in a variety of areas.
So, you’re not sure what a kilowatt hour or therm should cost, but you’re confident that you’re paying too much.
An energy manager can work with external partners to leverage your energy volumes and reduce your unit costs in deregulated markets. In regulated markets, an energy manager can help find the most beneficial rate for your operation’s usage pattern and will work with the Public Utilities Service Commission to make sure your voice is heard.
No one wants to waste money, but smart investments in energy efficiency can be paid back quickly in energy savings, with further savings driving straight to your bottom line. But what do you know about coefficient of performance, photovoltaics, or coincidental peaks. Should you worry about reactive demand? Are energy management systems a good fit for your operation?
Evaluating and purchasing technology can be difficult and very costly if not done correctly. There are many vendors who are perfectly willing to sell you unproven technology or technology that doesn’t fit your needs. But there are also plenty of vendors who can help you become more energy efficient while improving your bottom line. To get it right, you need someone with strong technical skills to make sure you consider all of your options and make educated choices.
Corporate responsibility touches nearly every aspect of business and energy managers can provide valuable guidance and direction for your Corporate Responsibility Team. The prudent use of energy is one of the few steps you can take that will not only impact your carbon footprint, but also improve your bottom line.
Codes and Standards:
By 2012, it is expected that most U.S. states will adopt the standards set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Rest assured that new and stricter regulations are yet to come. What will this mean to your business and how will you avoid being negatively impacted by these regulations? Energy managers can interpret these codes and standards and devise a plan to keep your business compliant.
Finding the right person to manage your energy needs can be difficult. Larger organizations may choose to have an energy manager on staff while smaller organizations may decide to use energy consultants. Another consideration is the individuals experience and education. Many companies look for someone with an industry certification like a CEM. More technical facilities may require a Professional Engineer. However you decide, make sure that you find an energy manager with the right credentials to fit your operations.
Effectively managing your energy usage and costs serves the environment, your community, and your business’s stakeholders. Yet, without the guidance of a trained energy manager, many companies lack the technical knowledge and expertise to achieve their energy management goals. Whether you want to simply reduce your energy costs or you are looking to execute a comprehensive energy management strategy, an energy manager will make sure your organization meets its objectives, both with energy and otherwise, in a cost effective and responsible way.
Written by Mike Cook, Wendy’s/Arby’s Group
Tags: corporate responsibility, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, energy information administration, energy management team, energy manager, energy procurement, Mike Cook, technology assessment, Wendy's/Arby's Group