California Direct Access Lottery

By Michael DeCaluwe

About 1 week ago, California regulators finalized procedures to further open California’s electric grid to consumer choice.

California originally opened its electricity market in the 1990s and was on the path to full deregulation. However, the 2001 energy crisis in the state forced them to put a hold on electric choice. Companies that were already taking supply from a 3rd-party provider were allowed to keep doing so through a program called Direct Access, but the state barred any new companies from participating.

California Senate Bill 237

California SB 237, passed in September 2018, opened an additional 4,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) for electric choice beyond the 24,000 GWh that are already with a 3rd-party supplier. Final rules and procedures for companies to participate were passed by state regulators recently.

Why is this important?

This legislation marks the first meaningful opening of California’s electricity market in almost 20 years. California energy costs are the 7th highest in the country. Customers in California who have chosen 3rd-party supply are experiencing 10-50% savings in their energy costs, and this new legislation will allow for more companies to take advantage of these savings.

What is the Direct Access Lottery?

The 3 major California utilities will hold a lottery to decide which additional companies can participate in Direct Access. For companies that haven’t previously applied for the lottery, applications are due this week on Friday, June 14, 2019, by 5:00PM PST.

Nania Energy can help you with the application process. Here’s how:

  • Send us a recent California electricity bill from any one of the 3 major California power utilities:
    1. PG&E
    2. Southern California Edison
    3. San Diego Gas & Electricity
  • We’ll send you the necessary forms to complete to submit your lottery application.
  • Fill out the application and return it to us ASAP — we’ll handle the enrollment in the lottery on your behalf.

Final lottery selections will be made in August 2019 with service stating in January 2021.

If you have any questions on the new legislation or the lottery, please call us at (630) 225-4550 or email us at info@naniaenergy.com.

About the Author

Michael has served as the VP of Commercial & Industrial Sales at Nania Energy Advisors since 2007. He believes that listening to and understanding clients’ energy needs are vital to becoming a thought leader in the industry and forming a mutually beneficial business relationship. In his spare time, Michael enjoys being a dad, staying active, and playing basketball.

Michael can be reached via email at mdecaluwe@naniaenergy.com or via phone at (630) 225-4552.

5 Common Natural Gas Questions — Answered

By Mike Eckenroth

When you look at natural gas bids, it can be a struggle to accurately compare pricing between suppliers. There’s no standard offering for natural gas pricing.

Which can lead to a lot of questions. The 5 most common natural gas questions we’re asked are:

  1. What’s the difference between Citygate and Burner Tip?
  2. Which delivery option is better: Citygate or Burner Tip?
  3. What is swing percentage?
  4. What’s different about 100% swing?
  5. Which swing percentage is best?

Below, we’ve answered these questions in a way that will boost your natural gas knowledge and give you the confidence to make a better buying decision for your company.

What’s the Difference Between Citygate and Burner Tip?

“Citygate” is the physical location where natural gas is delivered to a local distribution company (such as Nicor or BGE) via pipelines. “Burner Tip” refers to the point at which the gas is used as fuel.

When it comes to your natural gas rate, the difference between the two lies in how a supplier charges for gas that is lost during transport.

This about it like this:

Imagine you pour exactly 1 gallon of water through a hose. When you measure the amount of water you get on the other side, it will never measure out to exactly 1 gallon. It’ll be close, but it will always be less than 1 gallon because some of the water will leak out or stick to the inside of the hose.

The same thing happens with natural gas. When gas is transported through pipelines to your facility, a small portion of it is lost during the trip due to leaks. This gas is called “lost and unaccounted for gas,” or LUAF.

A Burner Tip rate includes an additional charge to compensate for the lost gas — Citygate does not. Therefore, the supplier with the Citygate rate will charge you a fee separate from your rate to compensate for the losses.

If a supplier does not specify whether a bid is Citygate or Burner Tip, ask!

Which Delivery Point Is Better: Citygate or Burner Tip?

From a performance standpoint, one option is not better than the other. However, you need to know which delivery point a supplier is using for their bid so you can analyze the rates.

If a supplier is presenting a Citygate price, add 1-3% to the price to have an accurate comparison to a Burner Tip quote.

What Is Swing Percentage?

Swing percentage is a component of natural gas pricing that dictates how far your usage can deviate from your monthly contracted quantities without incurring incremental charges. The most common swing options are 0%, 10%, and 100%.

How does my bill differ with each option?

The price for any usage deviation depends on which swing option you choose. Prices for swing options greater than 0% include risk premiums.

Below is a table that highlights how each swing option affects the price you pay.

What Is Swing Percentage?

 

What’s Different About 100% Swing?

With a 100% swing product, suppliers charge you the same rate regardless of how much natural gas you use. If you use significantly more or less natural gas than expected, the supplier bears the burden of purchasing or selling additional quantities at the market rate.

Because of this risk, suppliers will charge you a premium for 100% swing that’s included in your rate. The premium charged is a function of the amount of variability in your month-to-month natural gas purchases.

For example: If you mostly use natural gas for heat in the winter months (like a condominium association), your premium will be higher than the premium for a customer who uses the same amount of gas every month (like a manufacturer).

A supplier’s bid for a 0% swing product could appear lower than a bid at 100% swing. That difference is at least partially due to the premium included for 100% swing.

Which Swing Percentage Is Best?

To decide the swing percentage that’s best for you, you need to know your company’s risk tolerance. If you can tolerate risk and have a very predictable usage profile, your can choose a lower swing percentage and achieve a lower overall price than someone who opts for 100% swing. However, that is not a guarantee.

Budget-conscious organizations that use natural gas for heating, such as associations and non-profit organizations, benefit from a 100% swing product. They can set their budgets beforehand and plan for the year.

Organizations with more predictable natural gas usage, like manufacturers, are typically more risk tolerant and can stand to benefit financially from taking a lower swing percentage.

Know the Ins and Outs of Supplier Bids.

Understanding Citygate, Burner Tip, and swing percentage can drastically change how you analyze supplier bids. Knowing how these components impact your rate empowers you to become a better natural gas buyer. Keep in mind that not all suppliers can provide all options.

It’s important to get an apples-to-apples comparison — you should work with an energy advisor to include any necessary adjustments that will align supplier bids and ensure an accurate comparison. An advisor can also answer your questions and help you create an energy strategy that matches your risk tolerance and meets your goals. Give me a call to discuss how you can optimize your natural gas purchase.

 

About the Author

Mike is an energy professional based out of Baltimore, Maryland, with a strong engineering and purchasing background. His specialties include energy efficiency and strategic commodity procurement. Growing up in the shadow of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, Mike has an intimate stake in a grid with safe, reliable, and cost-effective energy generation — which he leverages into an energy strategy that provides security for his clients.

You can reach Mike via email at meckenroth@naniaenergy.com or phone at (717) 679-3663.

The Secret to Timing Your Energy Purchase

By Sarah Rousseau

When it comes to buying energy, decision makers usually go by two rules of thumb:

  • Wait to buy until rates are at their absolute lowest, and
  • Only buy in the “off-months” (winter for power, summer for gas).

These strategies may have worked in the past, but they aren’t conducive for today’s evolved energy market.

Here’s why:

  • Current energy rates are near historic lows, and we seem to have hit a price floor. Although it’s possible for rates to dip back down, chasing that mentality can leave you unhedged and vulnerable to an upward trending market.
  • The monthly time windows no longer exist, especially as consumers switch to electric heat and natural gas continues to be used to generate electricity. In the graphs below, the lowest electric rates occurred between June and September, and the lowest gas rates were seen in January.

electric timing your energy purchase

gas timing your energy purchase

There’s no longer a “perfect” time to buy energy — so how do you know when to buy?

The secret: Always Be in a Buying Mindset.

Here’s how:

1) Know your company’s risk tolerance.

Waiting for the lowest possible rate could cause you to miss out on current savings and leave you exposed to the upside of the market. If the market turns, you’ll be forced to pay a higher rate and face buyer’s remorse or management scrutiny.

To avoid this, set price triggers for rates above and below the current market price that match your risk tolerance, then execute when one is reached. In today’s backwardated market, the trigger price could be for a 36- or 48-month term, offering your company long-term protection.

2) Understand your company’s purchasing process.

Knowing how long it takes you to get a purchasing decision approved helps you determine when to start looking at rates.

  • Can you execute a contract same day?
  • Does your board takes months to make a purchasing decision?

Being able to answer these questions allows you to facilitate your internal processes and start the buying process sooner rather than later.

3) Be proactive, not reactive.

Exploring rates less than 3 months before your contract expires doesn’t give you enough time to evaluate your energy purchasing strategy — especially if you have a long internal purchasing process.

Be aware of when your contract expires and take the early call from your advisor, even if your contract isn’t up for 12 to 24 months. They can update you on market trends and help you develop a plan that fits your needs.

Don’t Wait for the “Best” Time to Buy.

Rates are near historic lows, and seasonality  is gone. Take advantage of current opportunities in the market to protect your organization before the market turns. Call your energy advisor for a market update and discuss your buying strategy.

 

About the Author

Sarah has been in the energy industry for over 12 years. Her background is in customer care, account management, pricing, and energy solutions.

As the Director at Nania Energy Advisors, she oversees all internal core functions of the business, including marketing and client relations. Her specialty is her experience in energy pricing and understanding the evolving energy markets. She most enjoys being an advocate for clients and helping make things easier for them.

Sarah holds a Bachelors in Psychology from Illinois State University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and family, practicing yoga, traveling, and watching college basketball.

Sarah can be reached at (630) 225-4553 or via email at srousseau@naniaenergy.com.

Energy and Portfolio Property Management

By Calvin Cornish

There are a lot of factors that go into managing an association’s energy:

  • Keeping track of when contracts expire
  • Obtaining bids from multiple suppliers
  • Timing your energy purchase correctly to see the most savings
  • Presenting the pricing during more than one board meeting (because they rarely decide on the first day)

Now multiply those factors by 5 or 6, and you have the energy management responsibilities of a portfolio property manager.

It can be exhausting!

Fortunately, there are solutions available that help make energy management easier for portfolio property managers. One solution is enrolling the properties they manage in an energy buying group.

What is an Energy Buying Group?

An energy buying group is a great solution for both portfolio managers and the property management company. In a buying group, all participating associations have the same energy rate, supplier, and contract end date. The buying group is managed and maintained by an energy advisor.

How can a Buying Group benefit me?

1) Lower Energy Rates

Including your properties in your company’s buying group could result in lower energy rates than what they could have obtained individually. As associations enroll in the group, the larger total usage increases the group’s wholesale purchasing power. The group can then leverage this for more competitive pricing from suppliers.

Additionally, if the group’s total usage exceeds a specific threshold, it could qualify for a reverse auction. The reverse auction process is transparent and naturally competitive, offering the group greater savings.

2) One Point of Contact

A buying group gives you one person to contact for any questions about your properties’ energy: the organizing energy advisor. Your energy advisor keeps track of the contracts for all the buying group participants and can get billing and customer service issues resolved quickly.

Consider Enrolling Your Portfolio

Keeping up with the energy contracts and decisions for multiple properties can be time-consuming and daunting. An Energy Buying Group can lower energy rates for all your properties and take the energy-decision pressure off you. Contact your energy advisor to learn more about buying groups and see if they make sense for your property management company.

 

About the Author

Calvin has served as a Senior Energy Advisor at Nania Energy Advisors since 2010. As the Director of Community Living and Real Strategic Energy Advisors Calvin CornishEstate Services, he specializes in preparing property management boards to make informed decisions on energy through proper industry education. His clients include apartment complexes, condominium associations, and senior living facilities. In his free time, Calvin enjoys music and coaching youth sports.

Calvin can be reached via email at ccornish@naniaenergy.com or phone at (630) 225-4554.

 

3 Benefits of Energy Deregulation

By Mike Eckenroth

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of energy deregulation in the United States. Natural gas suppliers were able to sell natural gas directly to consumers with the Natural Gas Wellhead Decontrol Act of 1989, and power producers could do the same with the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Since the inception of energy deregulation, 34 states have at least one of the commodities deregulated, and thousands of customers are using the market to their advantage.

What is Deregulation?

When a state’s energy market becomes “deregulated,” its government passes new energy laws allowing end users to choose who supplies their natural gas or electricity to their local utility and what rate they would like to pay.

In a regulated energy market, consumers are required to purchase energy from the utility.

How Does Deregulation Benefit Consumers?

Customers in a deregulated energy market experience these 3 benefits:

1) Choices

In a regulated energy market, consumers can’t choose their energy supplier — they must use the utility. This makes it difficult for those customers to have influence over their energy strategies.

A deregulated market allows you to decide if you want to use a third-party energy supplier. Having a supplier gives you the power to customize your energy purchasing to meet your goals. You can experiment with different suppliers, contract terms, rates, product types, and renewable energy options to find what combination works best for your business.

You can also choose to work with an advisor that can help you decide what strategy fits your energy needs.

2) Budget Certainty

Your energy bill includes two classes of costs:

  • Supply Cost: the cost of the commodity (electricity, natural gas)
  • Utility Costs or Delivery Costs: the costs to deliver the energy from the supply source to your business (such as capacity and transmission)

The utility’s energy supply rate varies monthly, so your supply costs are different every month. This can make it difficult to have an accurate budget in a regulated energy market.

Budget certainty is more attainable in a deregulated energy market. With a stable supply rate, you can calculate your supply costs based on your estimated usage for each month. Your Utility Costs will still vary with your usage, but it will be easier overall to budget your energy costs.

3) Risk Management

Customers in regulated energy markets are at risk for rate spikes during high demand periods — winter months for gas and summer months for electricity.

In a deregulated market, you can use deregulation to your competitive advantage — especially if you’re striving for low operating costs. Locking in a fixed rate when the market is low protects you from rate spikes, saving you money that you can allocate to new projects, product lines, or other company enhancements.

 

Although deregulation provides some great benefits, there is always the possibility for a state to repeal it. Some states, such as Arkansas, have passed deregulation laws only to overturn them a short time later. And about 10 years ago, the Maryland General Assembly made an attempt to get rid of deregulation. However, lobbying by the Restaurant Association of Maryland as well as other commercial groups made sure it stayed.

As a commercial and industrial customer, it’s important that you take advantage of and support deregulation to protect your right to choose your energy provider.

Put Deregulation To Good Use.

Work with an energy advisor to mine the value of deregulation.

As a veteran in the Mid-Atlantic energy industry, I’ve helped customers identify their energy options and explore solutions that match their goals. Many of my customers are budget-conscious and focused on the bottom line, so risk management is something I help my clients integrate into their energy purchasing strategies. I’d love to see what I can do to make you successful, too.

Give me a call to discuss your energy game plan and learn how to maximize the benefits of deregulation.

 

About the Author

Mike is an energy professional based out of Baltimore, Maryland, with a strong engineering and purchasing background. His specialties include energy efficiency and strategic commodity procurement. Growing up in the shadow of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, Mike has an intimate stake in a grid with safe, reliable, and cost-effective energy generation — which he leverages into an energy strategy that provides security for his clients.

You can reach Mike via email at meckenroth@naniaenergy.com or phone at (443) 833-8224.

Nania Energy’s New Year’s Resolutions

By John Nania

Our mission at Nania Energy Advisors is to make energy easy so you can be successful.

As CEO, it’s important to me that our business offerings solve our clients’ problems and give them a competitive edge.

In 2018, prospects and clients approached us with 3 major concerns regarding their energy strategies:

  • Transparency in commodity purchasing,
  • Green energy legislation, and
  • Ways to save money on water bills.

Our Resolutions for 2019

In response to these concerns, here’s what you can expect from Nania Energy Advisors in 2019.

1) More transparency and supplier accountability

There are hundreds of brokers and suppliers with pricing and products that can meet your needs — there’s no denying that. We aim to outdo them all by becoming more transparent because you deserve to know how the energy purchasing process works.

To help meet this goal, we’ve created an in-house reverse auction platform. The platform gives you rate transparency, drives down rates by 7-10% compared to other procurement methods, and hold suppliers accountable by logging bids with time and date stamps.

2) Representation in Springfield

The newly-elected state officials have promised sweeping energy legislation that will significantly impact Illinois businesses and residents.

As the largest energy advisor in the state and a founding member of The Energy Professionals Association (TEPA), Nania Energy Advisors will be representing you and all of our clients as one voice as this energy legislation unfolds.

3) An Expanded Product Mix

Clients are always asking us if we can help them save money on their water bills.

To meet this need, we’ve added the SmartValve™ device to our product offerings. Its easy installation process and quick ROI make it a great option for clients who are new to energy efficiency. With this device in our tool belt, we’ve transformed ourselves from energy advisors to commodity advisors — helping you with power, gas, efficiency projects, and water.

Nania Energy Is On Your Side

We’ve chosen these three resolutions to uphold our company mission — to make energy easy so you can be successful. As someone who started in this business 28 years ago, I’ve come to know the marketplace and what our clients expect from us. We’re continuing on in our quest to be the best, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring.

 

About the AuthorStrategic Energy Advisors John Nania

John has been an energy professional for 28 years. He is the Chief Energy Officer and Founder of Nania Energy Advisors, providing energy services to over 10,000 facilities in 13 states. He has an MBA and is a frequent speaker at energy industry conferences.

John can be reach via email at jnania@naniaenergy.com.

Be Tech Savvy with your Energy Purchasing

By Becky Thompson

The Digital Age has caused major overhauls in many business sectors, and the energy industry is no exception.

New technology available makes managing your energy easier than ever. Let’s say you want to lock in a specific rate. You can receive automated emails letting you know when the market has reached that rate, and you can sign a contract that day.

Or, if you participate in a load management program, you can receive alerts on peak days so you can lower your usage and improve your load profile during the outlined hours.

Revolutionizing Technology

Perhaps the most relevant new technology that is revolutionizing energy purchasing for complex customers is reverse auction software. During a reverse auction, suppliers compete in real time to offer the lowest rate for your electricity or natural gas supply.

Using a reverse auction for your energy procurement benefits you in three ways.

1) You have complete control.

In a reverse auction, you have the opportunity to take part in more steps of the purchasing process. You participate in the RFP creation so you know exactly which suppliers receive it and what is required of them. You can also select the date you want the auction to be held and watch the auction as it’s happening. That way, you can see when and how suppliers are bidding.

Additionally, the auction gives you rate transparency because it strips out any built-in premiums, margins, or last-minute fees that suppliers might otherwise include. This transparency makes it easy for you to explain the auction and its results to your board or executives.

2) The level of competition is elevated.

In traditional energy procurement, suppliers submit a one-time sealed bid and don’t know what rates other suppliers have given.

During a reverse auction, suppliers can see the current low bid as they actively submit their bids in real time. This encourages supplier competition and drives down rates by 7-10% compared to other procurement methods.

3) Your procurement strategy is air-tight.

A reverse auction gives you reliable process documentation. Each bid submitted during the auction is logged with a time and date stamp. This gives you an apples-to-apples comparison between suppliers because all bids are entered within the same time frame and reduces any favorability. The documentation you will receive at the conclusion of the auction validates your purchasing process, which you can share with your board or executives.

Add Technology to your Energy Strategy.

Using technology is a simple way to strengthen your energy strategy. Reverse auctions give you the transparency, competitive rates, and accountability measures that you might not get through other procurement methods.

Contact your energy advisor to see if your organization qualifies for a reverse auction and learn about other valuable tools you can integrate into your energy strategy.

 

About the Author

Becky is a Strategic Energy Advisor specializing in the public sector, including schools and municipalities. She has Strategic Energy Advisors Becky Thompsonbeen in the energy industry for over five years, working from the ground up as an account manager and then as an electric pricing team lead. Her background knowledge of the inner workings of an energy company helps identify actionable strategies for making her clients’ energy strategies both easy and cost effective. In her free time, Becky enjoys any activity that requires being outside and making her son belly laugh.

Becky can be reached via email at bthompson@naniaenergy.com or phone at 630-225-4561.

An Easy Guide to Efficiency ROI

By Michael DeCaluwe

When I’m working with a client who’s new to energy efficiency, the first question they ask is:

What’s the ROI of this project?

To help clients decide which project to pursue first, we’ve created an easy guide that outlines the payback period for each type of energy efficiency project. Projects can be placed in the following groups based on their anticipated ROI:

1-2 Years

3-5 Years

6+ Years

Read on to discover which projects fall into each category.

1-2 Years

Compressed Air

Repairing leaks in your air system is the quickest way to increase the efficiency of your air compressor. Since air compressors typically have a 10-15% efficiency rating, locating and fixing leaks in your air lines typically has a payback of less than one year.  Some states and utilities have programs that will completely cover the costs of testing to locate leaks.

Steam Traps

For those with a steam-based system, many utilities have excellent rebate programs that will either pay for a steam trap study on your site or will even pay outright for the replacement of steam traps.  If capital is required on these projects, a typical payback will be under 1 year.

Water

For larger users of water (and depending on the size of pipe for your water feed), water-flow devices installed on the customer side of the water meter have a typical payback period of 1-2 years.  These projects have an excellent long-term payback potential as the cost of water continues to rise for most water utilities.

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)

Some motors are constantly running at full speed, which can lead to unnecessary energy costs. VFDs vary the power input and frequency of the motor, which results in energy savings. Depending on the size, horsepower, and hours of usage, installing VFDs on your pumps and motors will have a payback of 2 years or under for most projects.

3-5 Years

Lighting

One of the most popular efficiency upgrades is lighting. Typical payback for an LED lighting project is 2-4 years. The payback on your lighting project depends on:

  • the efficiency of your current lighting,
  • the number of hours that your facility has its lights on,
  • whether you do a bulb-only retrofit or a full ballast replacement, and
  • utility rebates.

Burners

Check the amount of excess air in your boiler system. If your system contains more than 15% excess air, you could benefit from installing a low excess air burner. Upgrading the burners or the controls on a boiler can have an expected payback period of about 3 years, depending on the age and efficiency of your current burner or controls.

Building Automation Systems (BAS)

Installing a building automation system (BAS) helps you use your building’s equipment fore efficiently. If you do not currently have a BAS system, you can anticipate a payback period of 3-4 years.  If you have an older BAS system or it only controls some of your equipment, payback is closer to 5 years.

6+ Years

Roof Top Units (RTUs)

Roof top units (RTUs) have an average life span of 20-25 years.  Utilities will often pay for engineering studies on your current unit to determine its efficiency.  If you decide to replace an older, functioning unit, you can expect rebates to cover 10-15% of the project costs.  If you wait until your unit fails, rebates are not available.  The efficiency of the newer units typically yields a 9-year payback period, including rebates.

Boiler Replacement

Boilers typically have a life expectancy of 25 years before they need to be replaced. Some utilities offer 10-15% rebates for replacing your old boiler. However, there are no utility incentives if your boiler is not functional. Not sure if your facility needs a new one? Check to see if your boiler is exhibiting any of these 7 signs. With utility rebates, you’ll likely experience a 10-year payback for replacing your boiler.

Increase your efficiency to decrease your energy costs.

Completing an energy efficiency project is a great way to reduce your overall energy spend. Although fast paybacks are a focus for many facility managers, don’t let a multi-year payback keep you from doing necessary upgrades. And paying for a project doesn’t have to be a large up-front cost – utilities and suppliers have rebates and on-bill financing options to help you cover the cost over time.

Ready to talk strategy? Call me to discuss your efficiency needs and to develop your project blueprint.

 

About the Author

Michael has served as the VP of Commercial & Industrial Sales at Nania Energy AdvisorsStrategic Energy Advisors Michael DeCaluwe since 2007. He believes that listening to and understanding clients’ energy needs is vital to becoming a thought leader in the industry and forming a mutually beneficial business relationship. In his spare time, Michael enjoys being a dad, staying active and playing basketball.

Michael can be reached via email at mdecaluwe@naniaenergy.com or via phone at      630-225-4552.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

By Michael Zaura

What do beer, iPhones, and Wrangler jeans have in common?

They’re all made by companies who have pledged to have 100% of their electricity supplied by green energy by 2025.

And it’s not just companies adopting green energy policies – cities such as Chicago and San Francisco have also pledged to be powered entirely by renewable energy sources within the next 20 years. In fact, 70 cities across the US have adopted 100% renewable energy ordinances, nearly doubling the number from 2017.

So, what counts as “green” energy, and why are so many people talking about it?

What Is Green Energy?

Green or renewable energy is energy that is not collected from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil). Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished over time.

Sources of green energy include:

  • Wind power
  • Geothermal energy
  • Solar power
  • Hydroelectric energy
  • Biomass
  • Hydrogen and fuel cells

A recent study by the Department of Energy concluded that these resources have the potential to provide 80% of US electricity by 2050.

The introduction of solar incentives into the Illinois and Mid-Atlantic markets has sparked the recent interest in renewable energy sources. And with premiums being as low as 1%, going green is an attainable option for many types of business, not just manufacturers.

Who Benefits from Green Energy?

Using green energy benefits

  • The environment. Using renewable resources reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
  • The US economy. Most green energy investments are spent on materials and maintaining generation facilities within the same state or city from which they are sourced. This creates 5 times more job opportunities than fossil fuels and reducing the need t import other energy sources.
  • Your company. Many consumers look at an organization’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices before purchasing from the company. They are more likely to do business with companies that support an issue they care about. Environmental efforts is a major CSR tenant, and a company reducing its carbon footprint is favored by consumers.

How Do I Buy Green Energy?

When you choose to buy energy from renewable sources, you buy your energy in the form of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs or SRECs for solar energy). A REC is proof that 1 megawatt-hour of electricity has been generated by a renewable resource.

Your green energy does not have to come from only one type of renewable resource. For example, one of my customers is a hand soap company whose primary manufacturing facility is in Illinois. The company makes environmentally-friendly products, so having environmentally-friendly energy was essential to their brand identity.

We presented them with four different energy product options:

  • National wind energy
  • Local wind energy (generated in Illinois)
  • Solar power
  • General (a mix of different renewable resources)

They elected to use a 100% national wind product for their electricity. While these are just some of the green product options available, the option you choose should align with your company’s values and energy initiatives.

You Can Make a Difference.

How important is renewable energy to you and your company?

Reducing our customers’ carbon footprints is a major goal of Nania Energy Advisors. Last year, we procured 25.5 million kWh in green energy, which is the equivalent of removing greenhouse gas emissions from over 4,000 cars.

I’m passionate about green energy solutions because I want my kids to be able to see the beauty of the environment as I experienced it growing up. Whether it was camping or hiking while I was in the Scouts or my various summers being a caddy or umpire, I’ve always loved being outside and seeing what the environment had to offer. There is nothing like enjoying the beauty of our surroundings, and I hope we can help others share those experiences now and with the generations that follow.

A green energy strategy is easily attainable for your business, and I want to help you discover yours. Contact me to learn how your organization can make a difference.

About The Author

Michael is a Strategic Energy Advisor in the Chicagoland Area.  His work in energy specializes in manufacturing, recycling, law and renewable/green energy.  Michael helps his clients craft Strategic Energy Advisors Michael Zauraenergy strategies specific to their current and future situations.  He is passionate about renewable/green energy and its growth – continuously learning through reading and sharing publications. He enjoys spending his spare time with his wife, daughter, and triplet boys.

Michael can be reached via email at mzaura@naniaenergy.com or phone at 630-225-4556.

How To Make a Strong Energy Portfolio

By Mike Eckenroth

Imagine you’re the Vice President of Operations for a national property management company. You have 10 property managers reporting to you, each managing 3-5 properties.

As the company acquires buildings, energy decisions are left to the individual property managers. You receive their energy usage and spend reports annually, but you don’t have much insight into each manager’s energy strategy. And you definitely don’t have time to look over them all yourself.

How do you know if their strategies are maximizing savings and achieving the company’s energy goals?

Consolidate your energy portfolio.

Think about it – if you were the property manager described above, you’d have upwards of 50 reports coming to you every year about energy.

That’s a lot for you to handle.

Instead of managing all of that yourself, have a knowledgeable energy advisor take care of all the accounts for you.

Consolidating the management of your energy portfolio provides you with 3 major benefits:

1) Lower rates due to your portfolio size

Suppliers would like to have all of the properties within your portfolio as customers. If a supplier knows that a property is part of the portfolio, they will provide more competitive pricing than they would have given if the account was priced individually.

Working with an energy advisor also provides you with better rates compared to traditional brokers. Energy advisors can leverage relationships with their supply partners, giving you lower energy rates and expedited customer service.

2) Less stress for you and your facility managers 

The level of energy industry knowledge varies among property managers. This puts your company at risk for missed buying opportunities, lost savings, compliance issues, and strategy inconsistencies.

Having your energy portfolio handled by an energy expert takes these burdens off your shoulders. It also frees up the property managers to focus on providing the best level of service for your tenants or owners.

Your energy advisor can present you with a custom strategy that matches your organization’s energy goals.

Your options could include:

  • Buying groups
  • Geographical aggregation
  • Individual procurement

Each of these methods could potentially provide value for your organization, making energy easy so that you and your managers can be successful.

3) Access to macro-level reporting and tracking software

Keeping track of the energy data for all your properties is time consuming and can get messy very quickly.

When you consolidate your energy accounts into a portfolio, you have access to energy tracking software that isn’t available to individual locations. This software allows you to clearly view the expenses for each property and generates charts and graphs that are not only easy to understand but also provide actionable energy data.

With the insight this data provides, your energy advisor can help you identify areas for continuous improvement and prioritize possible efficiency opportunities, allowing you to achieve your energy goals.

Is consolidation right for you? 

Managing energy for multiple properties is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The benefits that come from consolidating an energy portfolio makes it a logical option for both statewide and national companies.

Working with Nania Energy Advisors can help you develop a consolidation strategy that meets your company’s energy goals.

  • We currently manage over half a billion dollars in energy spend for our customers, and we use our size as leverage for better rates.
  • Our experienced Client Services team provides our customers with unparalleled service.
  • We have experience advising multi-state customers on their energy decisions, giving you the peace of mind that your energy strategy is in capable hands.

Call me to discover your consolidation options and discuss the first steps in optimizing your energy portfolio.

About The Author

Mike is an energy professional based out of Baltimore, Maryland with a strong engineering Strategic Energy Advisors Mike Eckenrothand purchasing background. His specialties include energy efficiency and strategic commodity procurement. Growing up in the shadow of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, Mike has an intimate stake in a grid with safe, reliable, and cost-effective energy generation – which he leverages into an energy strategy that provides security for his clients.

You can reach Mike via email at meckenroth@naniaenergy.com or phone at 443-833-8224.