Monday, November 28, 2011

Justifying Energy Efficiency for Business Growth & Investment

Energy efficiency vs. business growth-- it's NOT a zero sum game, and I'll prove it. Learn how to monetize energy choices, and make a compelling business case for energy improvements. Join me for a two-hour web seminar at 11:00 am eastern on Friday, December 9, produced by the Association of Energy Engineers.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Much Does an Energy Manager Make?

Many people ask this question. In short, the answer is this: if you become an energy manager, you can pretty much expect to make the same salary you get now. Your salary may increase if you can justify it with the additional value you create. Energy managers are not created equal. To see why I say this, take a minute to read an earlier post, “What Does an Energy Manager Do?” The energy

Friday, October 28, 2011

Better Buildings, Better Plants

The U.S. Department of Energy will soon evolve its program structure, merging the current Industrial Technologies Program with the Buildings program. Deputy Assistance Secretary Kathleen Hogan gives a concise overview of “Better Plants, Better Buildings.” If energy efficiency is to be achieved in the buildings and industry sectors, these will be the critical success factors:1. Direct cost

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Learning is not compulsory... But neither is survival."

Thank W. Edwards Deming for the brilliant quote that serves as the title to this post. Deming essentially taught Japanese industry how to develop efficient industrial production techniques after World War II. The rest, as they say, is history. In the spirit of Deming, I am pleased to debut on September 23, 2011 a new webinar for the Association of Energy Engineers, entitled "Designing and

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Checklist for Considering an Energy Performance Contractor

UNDERSTAND WHAT AN ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACT (EPC) IS… and what it can and cannot do. An EPC allows you to obtain capital and expertise to install and operate energy-saving measures. In return, you share the savings with the vendor under specified contract terms. Energy savings depend on more than “new equipment.” Expertise and services are at least as important. A successful outcome is

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Energy Efficiency's Role in Business Investment

Here's a two-part video on YouTube that challenges the conventional wisdom for measuring the investment performance of energy improvements. This presentation is intended for corporate decision-makers. Rates of return can be measured whether accepting or rejecting those improvements. in either case, this approach yields far more information than a simple payback measure. Click on the video's

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Point, Counterpoint: Industrial Energy Consumption

A very succinct evaluation of today's energy policy comes from the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners. While some good points are made here, there's also a gap in the logic. My comments are below this quote:"One of the goals/objectives of the Obama Administration has been to delink fossil energy from Gross Domestic Product (GDP). So far it looks like they have been pretty good at it. The only

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DOE Announces Over $30 Million to Help Universities Train the Next Generation of Industrial Energy Efficiency Experts

[Ed. note: The implementation of industrial energy efficiency depends as much on organizational dynamics as it does on technical acumen. The "next generation of industrial energy efficiency experts" must become adept at creating consensus across departmental lines. They must also demonstrate a compelling linkage between energy and business performance. These are skill sets that can and should

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Funding Cuts for the Energy Information Administration?

Despite our economy's ever-increasing reliance on information as a means for creating value, federal budgeteering has resulted in a sizeable reduction of funding for the Energy Information Administration. A 14 percent cut to the EIA's budget is to be extracted now, not by spreading the cut over a full year, but instead squeezing it from the remaining FY 2011 budget, which runs through September

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

General Eisenhower's Thoughts on Master Planning (and Sustainability)

Driven by the best of intentions, a growing number of public and private organizations aspire to “sustainability.” These are operating principles that minimize environmental impacts and waste while reducing operating costs. This pursuit, however, is not without impacts on other elements of facility asset management. Like sustainability, these other elements also require resources and are subject

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Climate Change

On April 19, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in American Electric Power v. Connecticut. This case will likely become the defining decision on climate change litigation, and it will have profound implications for environmental law generally as well as the future of climate change policy in the United States. Last year's 2nd Circuit decision in this case was the first time a

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kudos to the Nevada State Office of Energy

With 50 states plus a number of territorial authorities, we're starting to see a fairly impressive cross-section of stimulus-funded energy efficiency programs. Just one example comes from Nevada. Per their website: "The mission of the Nevada State Energy Office (NSOE) is to ensure the wise development of the state’s energy resources in harmony with local community economic needs and Nevada’s

Friday, April 8, 2011

Scenarios for Energy Management

Energy managers (should) spend a fair amount of time simply managing the expectations of their top leadership. The challenge is that everyone comes to the table with a pre-conceived notion of what energy management is and what it entails. Education is the first order of the day. Toward that end, the exhibit shown here is a one-page summary of energy management scenarios. Jump-start your

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who Will Blink First: Energy Solution Consumers or Providers?

I just finished reading yet another online forum that questions why businesses fail to adopt the obvious benefits of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency proponents across the globe are discovering the same hurdle. The real culprit here is the threat of change. Organizations cannot address their energy performance without making changes to their status quo. I refer here to changes to capital

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unlocking the Benefits of Energy Efficiency: An Executive Dilemma

The Economist Intelligence Unit announced today the results of a global C-level executive study on energy efficiency and sustainability.The survey calls out the gap in perception between CEOs and other senior executives in their organizations. Respondents beneath the C-suite are significantly more likely (61 percent vs. 49 percent) to say that their organizations do not do enough to integrate

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sustainability: Future-Proofing for Business

When the term “sustainability” appears in news headlines, it is usually the subject of policy debate. These debates seem to focus on the rights and privileges of investors and property owners. Debate is generally a good thing, but it’s pointless if the subject of debate is not clearly defined to all participants. This is often the case with concept of “sustainability.”To many observers, “