Guest Commentator: Benjamin Parvey, CEO, Blue Sky Power with insight from team members of Sanborn Head & Associates

How are businesses reducing energy costs and building resiliency?

Attitudes surrounding energy are changing in a big way. Business owners and CFOs have gone from asking “What is our energy spend?” to “How can we make our energy work for us?” This shift in focus reveals not only an evolution in energy technology but also the growing understanding that reducing energy costs and increasing resiliency is not just good practice, it gains a competitive advantage.

Targeting Energy Supply Rates

Increasingly, businesses are coming to us with cost security on their minds. They want to reduce their energy expenses (e.g., electricity and fuel for heating/processes) and find ways to avoid energy price spikes during peak demand months. The energy supply market can be complex, so they need someone to negotiate and lock in cheaper rates that won’t rise with demand. This achieves instant and sustained cost savings but does nothing for their resiliency.

Energy Infrastructure Projects to Reduce Costs

Some companies are going a step further and completing high-efficiency clean energy infrastructure projects using solar arrays, battery storage, and CHP, short for Combined Heat and Power. CHP can be powered by natural gas infrastructure or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). These projects generate clean energy on site. Some entities are also using LNG or compressed natural gas (CNG) on-site to provide resiliency in their fuel supply.  Creating a diverse energy ecosystem is making facilities more efficient and sustainable, meaning they are consuming less energy, further lowering their energy spend and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  And with plentiful supplies of inexpensive, cleaner natural gas, CHP is the power of choice for many businesses. Fellow Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT) member, Sanborn Head & Associates, says the opportunity for industries to increase efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability by using clean natural gas is expanding,

We believe the transition to greater utilization of natural gas is beneficial for American industry, and we work with our clients to take advan­tage of this expanding domestic fuel source.” – Sanborn Head & Associates

Energy Infrastructure Projects to Achieve Resiliency

In addition to cost certainty, these diverse energy ecosystems can be tied together into a microgrid that operates off the grid in “island mode” when there are power fluctuations or outages, giving the facility the resiliency to stay operational even in the event of a widespread blackout.

These kinds of energy infrastructure projects also give facilities a layer of protection from super storms, cyber hacks, and cyber terrorism, effectively securing their facilities and saving them the expense of downtime. Some businesses lose over $1 million a year from grid failures. When a business is operational while its competitors are not, it epitomizes a competitive advantage.

Additionally, institutional investors and insurers are now rating companies on their resiliency and sustainability making resilient clean energy a must-have, not a nice to have. Although helping the environment and staying powered up are certainly nice.

Benjamin Parvey is a member of the Steering Committee for the Chamber’s Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT), a consortium of 180+ business, public sector, labor and academic leaders working together to further our vision of an advanced, affordable, diversified, low carbon energy economy.

Upcoming Event

Energy  Pathways: Energy Efficient Models for the Global Market
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
WHYY