Cutting Back on Summer Price Spikes

Summer is heating up across the country
. The cold of winter is a fading memory. At home, our furnaces are giving way to air conditioners. In the workplace, plant and operations managers are turning up the air conditioning.

Company executives, who pay attention to their energy costs, realize that a spike in energy use can happen just as easily in summer as in winter.

Electricity grids strain to meet demand on very hot days as well as on very cold ones. Extreme and unpredictable weather is driving up energy use everywhere, according to the recent BP global energy review. Executives who pay attention to avoiding peak energy use will have their efforts rewarded.

It is common for jurisdictions to offer a variety of demand management programs as a way to incent consumers to reduce their peak power consumption.

Reducing peak consumption is an important task. I hope however, many of you will not be distracted by simply focusing on demand management programs to manage electricity.

You could miss out on other, more meaningful energy initiatives.

My experience is that isolated one-off actions never satisfactorily deliver sustained energy reductions. Shaving peak electricity demand may dodge price spikes and cost penalties a few times a year. But real, long term energy reductions and cost savings require an approach that includes reducing consumption, reviewing future energy market conditions and assessing energy pricing.

Good corporate energy management

is like a good tool box.

Demand management is one good tool. A screwdriver is very useful and important. But when you need a saw or a hammer, a screwdriver won’t do. Sustainable energy management embedded in a company culture has all the tools in one place. Ensure your demand management plan is where it belongs – one of many tools in a well stocked toolbox.

Blog / Canadian Summer Gas Price Outlook

People tend not to worry about natural gas prices during the summer. This is mostly because natural gas has been consumed during the winter for heating purposes.

Over the last several years however, more consumers are using natural gas during the summer. Many jurisdictions have turned to natural gas instead of coal to fire their power generation. The industrial sector has found an increasing number of uses for natural gas in their production processes. It’s a growing possibility natural gas prices could rise over the summer season as well as in the winter.

What can be expected of the Canadian gas market in the near term and beyond?


 4 Steps to Reducing Peak Power Use

Reducing peak power use is an important issue during a hot summer, particularly for manufacturing plants and those greenhouse operations that require lighting during the summer. 

But making plans is not possible unless a common misunderstanding about managing energy is first addressed.

Many corporate leaders do not really believe it is possible to manage energy. Instead, they think using energy is simply the cost of doing business. If energy can’t be managed, what is the purpose of trying to curtail peaks?

This way of thinking will always hinder energy reductions in a company. Corporate leaders who hold these limiting beliefs will make no significant effort to change their organization’s internal processes or business plans to address energy use and costs. The initial challenge is to first convince senior managers that energy is controllable.

Once that challenge is overcome, successfully reducing peak power consumption involves four critical components.


What is Worrying Ontario Electricity Consumers?

Large energy consumers are worried about Ontario’s electricity marketplace.

They expressed their concerns at a series of consultations hosted in May by Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and by Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade.

The consultations were part of a review of the electricity market launched by the Ontario government to make provincial businesses more competitive.

360 Energy attended two of the consultations with key stakeholders from the agricultural and industrial sectors. The Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) and related Global Adjustment charges dominated the discussions at both events.


Coach’s Circle / What I learned from coaching my 5 year old son’s soccer team

I recently volunteered to coach my 5 year old son’s soccer team.

It has sure been a delightful eye-opener for me. There is something quite enchanting about being in the middle of enthusiastic, unfiltered 5 year olds gathered on a playing field to learn the beautiful game. Their excited energy is truly infectious.

As you can imagine, I quickly learned a group of 5 year olds are easily distracted and have a short attention span to my instructions. Keeping their attention is sometimes challenging.

Teaching and practicing simple drills together has been anything but simple.

I know about coaching adults. At work, I’m a coach. A 360 Energy Coach. I asked myself, “David, what do you know from energy coaching that might be relevant for helping these young players?”

In energy coaching, my first requirement is to engage with senior management. For coaching 5 year olds, the senior managers would be the parents. So, I spoke with the parents standing on the sidelines. I asked them to work with me in teaching their youngsters to learn the drills. Kids and parents, working together on doing drills – my soccer coaching job just became a whole lot easier and satisfying. The experience was better for the kids. They can now also practice these skills at home. Being at soccer practice became way more fun and meaningful for the parents.

That experience on my son’s soccer field mirrored my experience in the workplace. Getting a cross functional team working together on improving corporate energy performance does wonders for an organization. It’s fun. Team members learn new skills. Better relationships are built.

Whether a kids soccer team or a corporate energy program. Whatever the circumstance, first make sure the senior managers are engaged.

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