February 17, 2021 — In this special edition of Manufacturing Energy Success, Michael Zaura explains how packaging manufacturers can help relieve stress on the natural gas grid during this unusual weather pattern.

*Note: The content in this video is based on market conditions in February 2021.*

Video Transcript

Hello, and welcome back to Manufacturing Energy Success. This week’s topic was supposed to be on demand response. But, because of the major event that occurred in energy this week, I thought it’d be more helpful to cover what has happened and what you can do to help.

Operational Flow Orders

On Monday, an Operational Flow Order was called by natural gas utilities across the country. An OFO or critical alert occurs in rare instances when excessive demand puts massive strain on our natural gas infrastructure. You may have read about the blackouts in Texas and Oklahoma as a result of this.

While we’re lucky to not have experienced anything quite like that yet, you may still be affected by these orders.

What does this mean for you?

Chances are, you’re going to have higher energy bills not only in February but possibly in a few months following as well. This is due to charges from the utility for any natural gas used above your usual quantities during this critical time.

What can you do about it?

As a manufacturer, you’re in a unique position. Your actions this week can not only reduce your energy usage but also relieve some stress on the grid.

Curtail whatever you can this week. We know it’s tough to shut off the heat or shut down completely — especially with this weather. But if you can reduce the thermostat just a couple degrees in your facility, maybe turn off some extra lights, or even idle a production line until the weekend, these small actions can be a big help to the grid during this time. This will ensure that energy can be delivered to places like Texas and Oklahoma that need it the most.

Thank you for watching! If you have any questions about OFOs or ways to curtail your usage this week, please feel free to reach out.

I’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled programming where we talk about another type of curtailment in the form of demand response. This program is a great way to get some dollars back into your budget.