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Energy management tips that will help you sleep like a baby

I recently read an article titled “What’s keeping CEOs up at night? Six facts that will surprise you.” As the title suggests, the author made some great points about what leads to the frustrations faced by CEOs on a daily basis.

As an Energy Advisor I wasn’t surprised by what he wrote; in fact, his thoughts were right on par with mine.  I sleep like a babyhear these complaints regularly and it’s not just the CEO that is losing sleep.  General, Plant, Operations, Maintenance, & Finance Managers are all losing sleep over their electricity expense budgets.

I have good news though!  I have a simple plan to get you started and soon you’ll never miss another wink over your electricity expense.

According to the article, the top concerns faced by CEOs are:

  1. Surprises
  2. Not enough data
  3. Performance of the top team
  4. Moving too slow
  5. Lack of control
  6. Employees that don’t get it

In my experience many of these concerns related to managing electricity expense stem most consistently from 2 factors:

  1. Lack of data transparency
  2. Lack of educated market information

Let’s begin with the data.

Do you still record your utility bill info in an excel spreadsheet?  You are using an outdated method, but you’re not alone – many of our clients were just like you.  That being said, if you’re serious about reducing your electricity spend, it’s time to take the next step.  A simple 3 step process will provide you with an explosion of data that you can transform into actionable information that you can use to control your expense. Follow these steps and you can turn your single monthly consumption figure into 744 data points – 1 for each hour of the month.

  1. Get your data – two years of your hourly consumption data
  2. Analyze your data – report-ready charts and graphs you can explain to your boss
  3. Interpret your data – have a 1-on-1 meeting with an electricity advisor to discuss your current state

Don’t forget about the price you pay for electricity.

Managing the rate you pay is just as important as managing your consumption, especially if you’re CEO hates surprises. I would hate to see you reduce consumption by 10% only to run into a 15% rate hike that eliminates those consumption reductions you worked so hard to achieve.

Unfortunately, many energy managers in Ontario are realizing a shock (pun intended) with the current electricity price tripling year-to-date in 2014. Our clients who actively monitor and procure electricity, however, haven’t missed a wink, simply because they have been pro-active with the market and strategically procure their energy.

Energy Management Planning: what should you do now?

Start by getting a Virtual Electricity Analysis – give me a call, and I can provide you with one. The analysis will give you a running start to managing your electricity, as well as an understanding of the Ontario electricity market basics and the factors that make-up your electricity price.

With minimal effort and no cost you’ll have a wealth of information that you can use to build an energy management plan that should impress your boss.  An audit and a market review aren’t going to cure your insomnia; however, you will have taken some great leaps forward, giving your bosses faith that you’re on the right path and buy you time.  It’s important to remember, that this is the first step in a continuous energy management journey. You’ll face many ups and downs along the way, but by being pro-active and executing based on a strategy, your CEO will sleep better knowing that you’ve got things under control.  Go get some rest!

Stay tuned for my next post where I will answer frequently asked questions regarding our Virtual Electricity Analysis.