In today’s energy market, most businesses recognize that they can manage their energy costs but don’t always realize how they can use or harness energy data to strategically procure or manage energy. There are many potential data points in nearly every business or organization, regardless of the size or type, and using that data is key to meeting energy related goals and lowering costs.
Last week, I was honored to join Farah Saeed, principal consultant of North America Energy & Power Systems at Frost & Sullivan, in a conversation about strategic energy procurement and management with almost 300 energy consumers during a webinar that we co-presented with Environmental Leader. As part of the webinar, we developed a whitepaper to provide a more in-depth look at the topics discussed, including practical strategies that business energy consumers can take to build an energy procurement program that utilizes energy data to mitigate price risk, allows more accurate energy budgeting and forecasting, and provides the flexibility to optimize enterprise-wide energy spend and energy consumption. Click here to download the whitepaper.
The webinar, “Strategic Energy Procurement: Using Data to Forecast, Plan, and Manage Your Energy Spend,” provided an opportunity for Farah and me to provide an industry perspective on the challenges that large commercial facilities are facing and address practical strategies to controlling and using energy data to better manage energy costs. Some highlights of our presentation include:
– Energy market trends, including primary drivers that utilities are taking into account when making smart grid investments, the adoption of energy efficiency strategies and smart energy strategies at the building-level
– The components of energy price and how your total energy cost factors price and the quantity of energy used over a given period of time
– The content of a well-informed energy strategy, which includes both usage and onset strategies
– The definition of energy data, which can fall into three categories: customer data, historical market data, and future market data
– Why we need strategic energy plans, and the four steps of energy procurement
– Analyzing company needs and strategy options, along with sample business objectives
– How to compare multiple purchasing options, and develop and track energy budgets
We also engaged in a vibrant dialogue with attendees. Mid-way through the presentation, participants were asked what type of electricity supply program that they use, and the instantaneous results indicated that a majority have fixed price agreements. This wasn’t very surprising because in the last 12-18 months, my customer base has reflected this same trend, which indicates that customers have been enjoying lower market prices and eliminating some of the risk in their portfolio.
We received a variety of great questions about translating the importance of energy data to inform top management and to get buy-in from stakeholders, how financing solutions may vary depending on the nature of the energy saving strategy under consideration, and others, which I will shed more light on in future blog posts, so please check back. If you’re interested in tuning into the webinar, you can listen to and download the presentation here: http://www.constellation.com/procurement_whitepaper.
If you attended the webinar and have questions or if you didn’t attend but have questions about this topic, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.