MOPR Is NOT Someone Who Sulks – TMT

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Michael DeCaluwe, Senior Vice President at Nania Energy. Have you heard the term “MOPR” recently in energy conversations?

In this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, we’re going to be talking about what exactly MOPR is and what it means for you.

What is MOPR?

As the title mentions, MOPR is NOT a pessimist who sulks. MOPR stands for “Minimum Offer Price Rule.” 

It’s a new rule created by FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates our regional electricity grids. MOPR only applies to PJM, the electrical grid that includes northern Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.

This rule covers how capacity costs are set in this market. As we’ve mentioned in previous videos, capacity is a reliability cost that is set to make sure that the grid has enough power to cover periods of peak energy use. Think summer days when it’s hot and everyone’s AC is on.

Over the past few years, some states have enacted renewable energy mandates that have provided subsidies for certain types of power generators such as wind, solar, and even nuclear.

Some generators have complained to FERC that the existence of these state subsidies have given an unfair advantage to some in competitive capacity auctions.

In response. FERC ruled that the current model for capacity auctions in PJM is unfair and decided to change it. This new model is MOPR.

What does MOPR do?

Under MOPR, PJM will set resource-specific prices floors for capacity bids, meaning that each type of generation resources (nuclear, solar, coal, etc.) will have a minimum price that they must place in the capacity auction.

The first new auction under MOPR will likely take place next spring for the 2022/23 planning year.

What does this mean for you?

For electricity consumers in these areas, this will likely mean higher capacity prices due to the price floors set by MOPR. Capacity currently makes up about 25 percent of electricity costs in PJM but could be much higher going forward.

What can you do about it?

The best way to avoid these higher capacity costs is to limit your peak demands in the summer, starting in 2021. Enrolling in a peak day notification program or doing energy efficiency projects to lower your electricity usage and demand are two ways you can reduce your peak demand values and offset some of this coming price increase.

So although MOPR might make you sulk, there are things that you can do now to help you prepare for its effects.

Hope that you found this week’s information helpful, and please be sure to like or comment on this video.

Thanks for watching!

The NEA Way – Deliver Legendary Service

Video Transcript

As a sales rep, one question I get asked all the time is, “Why are you guys different from other energy providers?”

It is a great question, and rather than give you a sales pitch about our products and services, in this video I thought I’d share the guiding force behind what makes us unique: our culture.

When the reality of working remotely during the pandemic started to settle in for the long haul, we developed what we call “The NEA Way” — 32 fundamentals that capture who we are and what Nania Energy is all about. It drives how we interact with each other, our suppliers, and our clients. It explains why we do what we do, and it’s why Nania Energy is such an amazing place to work.

One of our 32 fundamentals is “Deliver legendary service.” This is all about the experience for you. Make every interaction stand out because of its helpfulness. Create the “WOW” factor that turns our clients into excited fans.

Every person on our team has delivered legendary service in one form or another to our clients. Our Energy Solutions Specialists find answers and resolve problems quickly. As problems inevitably arise, response time and clear communication are what elevate service to legendary service.

Our sales team has a unique process for finding the right product and strategy that fits the short- and long-term needs for your facility. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to energy, and our team is determined to find an energy solution that helps you achieve your goals — and make the process easy along the way.

Delivering legendary service is one aspect of who we are and what we strive to provide our clients. If you’ve had a “WOW” experience you would like to share with us, we would love to hear it.

Thanks for watching!

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Illinois Renewables Market – TMT

Video Transcript

Brian McLemore here, Senior Advisor in the Southern Illinois market. Today’s topic is going to cover the rise in the Illinois renewables market and the effects of the state’s subsidies on renewables.

Retirement of Illinois Coal-Fired Generation Plants

Recently, Vistra Energy announced plans to shutter several plants in the Illinois market. Those are all coal-fired generation plants. This was set in place due to some changes in subsidies at the state level.

Back in 2016, the state of Illinois removed the subsidies for coal-fired plants and switched that to nuclear and more green energy sources.

Just a few short years ago, coal-fired plants made up 50 percent of our total energy generation. With the change in subsidies, we’re now at 27 percent of our energy coming from coal-fired plants. Additionally, 10 percent comes from natural gas-fired plants, and the remaining comes from wind, solar, and other renewable sources.

As we move forward, you can look for wind and solar to take a bigger foothold on the market in the state of Illinois.

What does this mean for Illinois energy users?

We here in Illinois have enjoyed very low energy rates for a long time. They’re actually some of the lowest rates in the nation. And barring some kind of black swan event, we don’t expect much to change on that front.

As green energy becomes more affordable, we will not only enjoy the favorable rates but also a cleaner environment and a more sustainable energy market.

I hope you found this segment helpful! If you have any questions about to coal-fired plants being shut down or green energy or what our make up is here in the state of Illinois, please feel free to reach out. If you have any questions about your current contracts or need help with an efficiency program, please reach out to us about that as well.

I appreciate you watching the video! Thank you, and have a great day.

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UV Lighting and Indoor Air Quality – TMT

Video Transcript

With people returning to the office, kids going back to school, and others remaining in their residential buildings, everyone is concerned about keeping shared spaces safe. One solution you may be hearing about is UV radiation in air ducts to improve indoor air quality and kill germs.

If you’re getting questions on this or it’s something you may be looking into in the near future, then this Two-Minute Tuesday video is for you. We’re going to talk about 3 things you need to know before looking into UV solutions.

1) Does it work?

The first thing you need to know is, does it work?

And the short answer is: yes. The right type of UV lighting can kill many germs, bacteria, and viruses. It can even help with mold spores and odors in the air.

Now according to the FDA, UV radiation — specifically UVC — has been shown to destroy proteins in other coronaviruses, ultimately leading to deactivation of the virus. Early findings support that it could be equally effective for COVID-19.

Which takes us to the second thing you need to know.

2) Not all UV lights are the same, and not all UV radiation is the same.

While UVA and UVB can kill some germs and bacteria, there is a specific wavelength of UVC that was used to successfully inactivate other coronaviruses, such as H1N1 and SARS.

Enough exposure to UVC-254 damages DNA so viruses can’t replicate. However, direct exposure is also dangerous to people, damaging both skin and eyes. This is why the strongest equipment has been used in medical applications for years, and why it’s installed in air ducts and not in the lobby.

When you’re evaluating UV lights themselves, make note of the type of UV (A, B, or C) and check the light rating. That’s an indication of its effectiveness.

Overall, the effectiveness is based on dose and duration, so power is important. Handheld wands, for example, have a very low dose, and it’s not enough to immediately damage a bacteria or virus. This means it would take prolonged exposure in order to render a virus inactive.

3) Work with an HVAC professional.

The last and most important point: this is NOT a DIY upgrade. You need to work with a professional.

You can buy lights on your own, and in some applications it may seem like an easy install. But there are a lot of ramifications throughout your building that can easily be overlooked. If adequate adjustments are not made to your HVAC system, you can overwork existing equipment or cause condensation issues throughout the entire building.

Be sure to consult an HVAC professional. They can:

  • Tell you whether your current HVAC system can handle UV radiation,
  • Identify the best types of lights that will work with your existing system, and
  • Make the necessary adjustments after they have been installed.

 

These are just a few quick things you should know in case you’re asked about UV lighting. Our November webinar will dive deeper into this topic. So if you’re getting questions or have further questions yourself, please share them in the comments section below, and we’ll be sure to address them in that webinar.

Take care, and thanks for watching!

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What does an energy advisor do? – TMT

Video Transcript

Hi! I’m Sam Greenberg, and I am a strategic energy advisor representing Nania across the Mid-Atlantic.

In this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, I’m going to dive into specifically what energy advisors do, and how we can help your company through our services.

Energy Broker vs. Advisor

In one of our previous videos, my colleague Calvin talked about how advisors and brokers are similar but far from the same. To quickly recap, when put simply, a broker only shows up when it is time to renew your contract, regardless of where the market is at that time.

What we do as advisors is take an all-inclusive approach to energy management by:

  • monitoring the market for best times to buy,
  • helping you identify areas of opportunity like demand response, and
  • connecting you with some of the best resources across the country for completing an efficiency project.

The energy industry is complex, and energy procurement is even harder to navigate. It is our goal to make energy buying not only easy, but make it an area of opportunity for your company when it comes to budget stability and reducing expenses.

By consistently monitoring the market, keeping you up to speed with the newest regulations, and providing strategic advice for execution, being an energy advisor is an ever-evolving line of work. But, it’s one that is extremely rewarding when we see our clients being set up for success.

If you have any questions about your business or would like to speak further about taking advantage of your deregulated market for energy, feel free to reach out me or any of my colleagues. My contact information is below.

If you enjoyed this video, please like, share, and subscribe. Stay classy, energy clients.

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Technology and Energy Strategy – TMT

Video Transcript

By this point, the impact of COVID-19 has permeated our lives in almost every conceivable way. With the changes you’re facing, you’ve had to adapt to a world where almost everything is now online, including managing your energy strategy.

In this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, we’re going to talk about a couple of ways you can leverage technology to save you time and money in the energy purchasing process.

Video Conferencing

The first way seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: digital communication and data exchange. In this day and age with so many ways to communicate, we are continuously surprised by how impersonal energy procurement can be. There’s nothing like meeting in person, but video conferencing is the next best thing.

Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams all provide excellent platforms to see each other during meetings and to share and review data. Not only are video communications more personal, but they’re also more productive. More accomplished in less time means more time for you to dedicate elsewhere.

E-Signature

Speaking of saving time, e-signatures are next on our list, and they have skyrocketed in popularity for documents that require signatures. If you’re tired of negotiating with the scanner like me, e-signatures are going to be your best friend.

Reverse Auction

Another way we’re leveraging technology is with a reverse auction. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re going to want to take some notes.

The completely online procurement event has suppliers log in and compete against one another in real time in an online platform. The streamlined event can produce results up to 10 percent better than a traditional sealed bid. Couple that with a 15-minute time limit, and you save time and money all online.

Our workplace is definitely different than it was in January of this year, but that doesn’t mean that your productivity has to suffer. Our mission remains the same: make energy easy to make you successful.

If you’d like to learn more or just want to chat, hit me up and I’ll send you a Zoom invite. Thanks for watching!

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How to Fund an Energy Efficiency Project

Video Transcript

Another way you can reduce costs outside of commodity is energy efficiency. This is the replacement of any kind of equipment at your site that reduce both your usage and maintenance costs for energy.

Now you might be thinking, “In these times, who has the capital to pay for these types of projects?”

There are many options out there that can help pay down or even let you walk into new equipment without any upfront costs.

Utility Rebates

First is utility rebates. This is going to depend on your state and utility, but many of these programs will help pay for a good portion of the project.

Federal Tax Deduction

Second is the federal tax deduction US179D. It’s only in place until the end of this year (it’s yet to be renewed), but it’s a tax deduction for energy efficiency projects for commercial buildings.

One caveat is that you need to show a profit to be able to capitalize on a tax credit. That is something that we have had to bring up in a post-COVID world.

Funding Options

Third is that there are funding options out there. Previous to COVID, there were a lot of CapEx projects where you would write the check and then the savings would flow to you every month.

Now, there are options out there where you can walk into new equipment without any out-of-pocket expenditures. To dial down on what these options are, we primarily see three out there.

1) On-Bill Financing

Under this option, the energy supplier writes the check for the project. Then, you negotiate a structured fee on your energy bill over some defined period.

There are certain tax advantages with this option, and we’ve seen a lot of popularity in it.

2) Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Projects

This will depend on if your county participates in this program — it’s a national program. A third party will pay for your project, and then you negotiate a structured fee that would actually be placed on your property tax bill.

These programs are very popular with REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) or any kind of location that is bought and sold because they’re a lot easier to transfer to a new owner as part of the property tax bill.

3) Performance Contracting

Again, there are no upfront costs. You would pay the contractor back through a negotiated percentage of the savings that are provided by the project.

 

To access the full webinar recording, email info@naniaenergy.com.

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Off-Site Renewable Assets: Two-Minute Tuesday

Video Transcript

Say your company has just instituted some lofty sustainability goals, where 20 percent of generated electricity should be from solar or wind energy. But, you don’t have the land space for a wind farm or you don’t have the roof space for solar panels.

In today’s Two-Minute Tuesday, we’re going to talk about off-site renewable assets and how this might be a solution for your company.

What is an off-site renewable asset?

An off-site renewable asset is a structure deal, usually in the form of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), that involves a commitment to take power from a dedicated asset — usually a green one, such as a solar field or a wind farm.

Who’s a good fit for this?

There are three general parameters for someone who’s a good fit for an off-site renewable asset.

  1. You want to make sure that the site that you’re picking has planned longevity (think 10-15 years).
  2. The location doesn’t have the ability to house a green asset like solar panels on the roof or enough land for a wind farm adjacent to the facility.
  3. Your company or organization has sustainability goals.

A recent example of this is General Motors. Obviously, they’re a very large energy user and they had a sustainability goal of having 20 percent of their electric energy generated through a renewable source. They picked the HillTopper Wind Farm in Logan County, Illinois, to provide 100 percent renewable energy to their Ohio and Indiana facilities.

These facilities have been around a long time, and they’re going to stay around for quite awhile. So, they committed to the HillTopper Wind Farm to provide the 100 percent renewable electricity, and they met their sustainability goals. They did this through a Power Purchase Agreement.

Economic Considerations

Let’s talk about the economics behind an off-site renewable asset. In the General Motors example, they signed a Power Purchase Agreement and agreed to take a percentage of their power from that asset (in this case the HillTopper Wind Farm) at a designated rate.

The good news is these rates are usually below what “brown” power is and gives your location budget certainty for many years to come. These Power Purchase Agreements are sometimes 10, 15, or even 20 years or longer, so the longevity of your site is very important.

If there are any residual energy needs, say that facility increases usage and needs to take more, that’s typically pulled from the grid.

Want to learn more?

That’s just a brief overview of off-site renewable assets, who might be a good fit for them, and the economics behind them. If you’d like to engage in further conversation about this or just green energy in general, I’d love to hear from you. If you found this video helpful, please like, share, or comment below.

Thank you for watching!

 

 

TMT: Meet Calvin Cornish

Video Transcript

Hi! I’m Calvin Cornish. I’m a Senior Energy Advisor here with Nania Energy. I’ve been in the industry since 2003 and I just celebrated my 10 year anniversary with Nania Energy recently.

I’ve been in energy for a long time. I work with community living and real estate, so property managers, apartments, commercial property managers. I really enjoy working with folks and learning about energy efficiency and learning in general. Outside of work, I like taking on new projects outside and around the house — woodworking, building, I just like to learn how things work and make things.

I spend a lot of time with kids. I have three kids, and my wife is currently teaching preschool out of our house a couple of days a week with six preschool kids including youngest. So there’s always kids around, and I really enjoy that.

I like the outdoors. I don’t think anyone would describe me as an “outdoors-y” person, like I’m not camping and things. But I do enjoy any excuse to be outside, whether it’s yard work or building.

And I would suggest if you’re in a new neighborhood and you’re looking for ways to meet your neighbors, just start huge yard projects. Build whatever you can outside, because I put up a pool recently and a deck, and I think I met half the people in my entire neighborhood as they all nosily stopped by and said “Hey, whatcha got goin’ on back there?” So just hanging out, meeting neighbors, that’s what I really enjoy doing in my free time — building things outside, meeting people, and spending time with friends.

So while I’ve really enjoyed the extra time at home and time spent with my family, one major takeaway that I’ve had from the COVID experience that I’ve found is just how much I appreciate talking with clients. Some of my best friends are clients and folks in the industry. I really enjoy getting to know them, helping them solve problems, and just talking through things.

I’d love to help you out if you want to talk about energy efficiency or just talk about woodworking tips and building pools. I’d love to hear from you. My contact information is below, so feel free to reach out and I look forward to talking with you soon.

 

TMT: Meet Becky Thompson

Video Transcript

Hey guys! I’m Becky, part of the Nania family here. I’m a Senior Strategic Energy Advisor that’s been around for about seven years now. I specialize in the public sector, so anywhere from local school districts, municipalities, higher education — you name it in the public sector, and I help service that part of the industry.

My background actually has nothing to do with energy. I was born and raised on a farm, so I’m the resident redneck at Nania. I came from a huge family and worked my way through college with multiple jobs and got my degree in Marketing.

So I actually started out doing a lot of online marketing until I met my now-boss Michael here at Nania and joined the family. And fell in love with energy, actually. I’ve become a full-fledged energy nerd. I’m one of the few people that can actually say I absolutely love my job and the people I work with, so I’m very fortunate.

It’s been an interesting year! I have a three-year-old son, Jack, and a husband of five years. And we have all been home for many, many months! Which is why my background is a beach because it’s a lot of wishful thinking that I could be somewhere not in my kitchen right now.

We love to travel. We actually were able to do a little European tour last fall — luckily before all of this kind of nonsense happened. We went to Italy and Greece, and it was remarkable. I can’t wait to go on many more adventures like that in the future.

My contact information is below. If you ever have any questions and you’re part of the public sector, I’m happy to help. It has been a very difficult year on many accounts for everyone. So if there’s anything we can do to offer you any assistance and clean up any of the messes that COVID and 2020 have presented us, we are here at your disposal.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me, and I look forward to getting to know you as well! Take care.