EnergySMART

EnergySMART is a community of people who are passionate about energy and who are actively striving to make more intelligent energy management decisions.

How to Hit Your Customer Engagement Goals in 2015

Posted by Kris Brewitt on Jan 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM


It’s January and you’re probably finalizing 2015 goals. Enhancing customer engagement is high on the resolution list for many utilities and energy retailers—particularly for those looking to boost returns on advanced metering investments.

The most forward-looking utilities and retailers are embracing an emerging trusted energy advisor model centered on delivering targeted, actionable customer insight and new analytics-rich services as a key value proposition. But engaging your customers while continuing to deliver power reliably and cost-effectively can pose a particular challenge.

Here are the three essential steps to meeting your 2015 customer engagement resolutions.


Effortlessly Calculate Accurate Energy Costs down to the Minute

Posted by Kelly Sennatt Esten on Jan 13, 2015 2:33:00 PM


I recently met a major US-based paper manufacturer dealing with low and declining margins in a highly energy-intensive business. Every dollar he saved potentially translated into jobs he didn’t have to cut, and factories he didn’t have to close.

He knew there were dollars to be saved on his energy bill, but he lacked the energy data needed to make decisions on when to run his plants and when not to—like whether it’s better to use Saturday overtime to avoid peak demand charges or if he’s within his budget for the month.

At the moment, he’s stuck calculating energy costs and budget accruals using monthly bills or by estimating based on past usage.


An Inside Look at Lockheed Martin’s Approach to Energy Efficiency

Posted by Erin Simone on Dec 29, 2014 7:00:00 AM


While you may be familiar with Lockheed Martin Systems’ (LM) world-class stealth fighters, you’re probably unaware of its best-in-class approach to energy management. As one of the world’s leading defense contractors, LM’s operations require energy—and a lot of it. With a corporate energy reduction target of 20% by 2020, LM’s 115,000 employees, located in 75 different countries, face a big challenge. Fortunately Principal Power Systems Engineer, Tom Knoedler, is equipped with the strategy to make it happen and shared some of those best practices at this past year’s EnergySMART Conference. Read on for an inside look at LM’s strategy for energy reduction—it’s nothing you can’t do, too!


Creating Opportunities From Costs: The New World of Energy Productivity

Posted by Thalia Pascalides on Dec 26, 2014 7:00:00 AM


This is a guest post by EnerNOC Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Gregg Dixon.

This is the second installment in a two-part series (originally posted on Wired's "Innovation Insights" blog) introducing energy productivity and the three energy cost drivers.

I mentioned in my first Insights post that energy intelligence software, or EIS, is where energy management and technology converge to control the three main energy cost drivers: how energy is bought, how much energy is used, and when energy is used. These are variable costs and, when harnessed, lead to what we call energy productivity.


How to Keep Energy Costs Low During the Holiday Rush

Posted by Thalia Pascalides on Dec 19, 2014 7:00:00 AM


This time of year, kids who celebrate Christmas are on extra good behavior. Why? Because Santa is watching, and there are singing Elsa dolls and MetalBeard LEGO sets at stake if they’re not.

There’s a lesson in here for energy managers who want better behavior—not from their kids, but from their buildings. Regardless of how closely you monitor facilities this time of year, the holiday rush can result in costly, inefficient energy usage.

But you better not pout; instead, take a cue from the man of the season himself and some of our friends at General Mills, Lodge Cast Iron, and the Massachusetts Department of Energy (DOER), on how to get ahead of naughty inefficiencies this season.


“Moneyball” Meets Energy Management: 3 Lessons from Billy Beane

Posted by Christopher Fiorello on Dec 15, 2014 7:00:00 AM


Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A's, joins an impressive line-up of speakers at next year’s EnergySMART 2015 from the March 24-26 in Philadelphia.

Since reading Moneyball for the third time, I’ve begun applying statistics to everything from my commute to which movies I watch (a disappointing outcome for my more spontaneous friends). It’s impossible to read Moneyball and not see the potential Beane’s winning strategy has for changing the way we manage everything in our lives, including energy.

Energy managers can learn a tremendous amount from Beane—come to EnergySMART 2015 next March for proof. But in the meantime, here are a few tenets of Beane’s approach that can help you—right now—sharpen your energy management strategy.


Enterprise Technology’s Last Frontier: Energy Intelligence, Measurement, and Management?

Posted by Thalia Pascalides on Dec 1, 2014 7:00:00 AM


This is a guest post by EnerNOC Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Gregg Dixon.

Does any major enterprise manage payroll in spreadsheets anymore? How about customer information? Across virtually every major cost center within a large enterprise—payroll, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning—paper files and spreadsheets have given way to enterprise software applications. With just a click of a button, key questions about performance, spend, risk, and more can be answered—for everything, it seems, but energy.

The tide is turning. Leading enterprises are saying goodbye to the spreadsheets and filing cabinets full of utility bills and adopting an IT-based solution: energy intelligence software, or EIS. Read on for the first part in a two-part series (originally posted on Wired's "Innovation Insights" blog) introducing the technology that is revolutionizing energy management for the enterprise.


Economizing 101: Increase Energy Efficiency with “Free Cooling”

Posted by Kirstyn Knox Lipson on Nov 20, 2014 7:00:00 AM


According to Deloitte’s reSources study earlier this year, the two biggest hurdles for businesses in achieving their energy management goals are: 1) length of time required for an investment to pay off, and 2) difficulty measuring impact. Which is why we love serving up no-cost strategies for increasing energy efficiency that drive tangible savings to the bottom line.

For facilities with conditioned space, economizing is one of these simple strategies. Economizing is when a facility’s HVAC system utilizes outside air conditions to help condition the building. One way to do this is by using dampers that are designed to allow “free cooling” with outside air. When the outside air is cooler than the return air, the outside air dampers are opened completely. When the outside air is warmer than the return air, the outside air dampers are closed.


A No Surprises Approach to Your Energy Budget

Posted by Christopher Fiorello on Nov 18, 2014 7:00:00 AM


A colleague recently asked me whether I would, hypothetically, forego all future surprises in my professional life. None of the surprise opportunities or promotions (again, hypothetically), but none of the surprise fire drills or unexpected deadline changes either.

It wasn’t a tough call; in our professional lives, being blindsided is as bad as it gets. Especially as an executive, most of what you do involves mitigating the likelihood of surprises.

But when it comes to energy budgeting, eliminating surprises can be like solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded.

Surprises seem to be baked into the utility bill cake, even if you’ve fully fixed the price of your energy in advance. Or so your Head of Operations tells you. But there are two ways to take the surprises out of your energy budget


The Competitive Advantage You’re Missing: Debunking Myths in Industrial Energy Management

Posted by John duPont on Nov 14, 2014 7:00:00 AM


Chances are, energy is a significant component of your firm’s operations cost—often on par with materials or labor costs to run your plants. Despite this, manufacturing executives don’t always consider the potential of energy management in gaining a competitive advantage.

Executives at leading companies proactively make energy a strategic priority, and incorporate energy management into their daily operating decisions at all levels. But lagging companies don’t manage energy at all, and often cite the same challenges preventing them from tackling energy costs. This post, inspired by our many conversations with VPs and other key energy decision-makers, helps debunk some of the commonly held assumptions about energy costs that prevent many executives from realizing the full benefits of energy management.


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Editorial Team

Sarah McAuley

Sarah's been bleeding EnerNOC blue for the last seven years as the Director of Marketing Communications. Prior to joining the team, she worked in the telecom industry, trying to convince telecom carriers to ditch antiquated switching technology and adopt voice-over-IP. She knows that uber-regulated industries like telecom and energy can have their challenges, but she's always loved being in the throes of an industry undergoing massive transformation.

Robin Deliso

As Senior Manager of Brand and Corporate Communications, Robin builds our brand in any way she can, which means contributing to the blog (her favorite posts involve deconstructing wonky topics, which there’s no shortage of in this industry), working with our global teams to help them tell the EnerNOC story worldwide, and otherwise finding creative ways to create awareness for our company and our products.

Thalia Pascalides

As Senior Content Marketing Manager, Thalia strives to deliver valuable, relevant information that helps energy managers become heroes in their everyday jobs. Thalia is a 7+ year EnerNOC veteran but a recent transplant to the west coast hub in San Francisco, where she’s inspired everyday by how technology is revolutionizing our world.  

Christopher Fiorello

Christopher brings experience in academic sociology, journalism and marketing for start-ups and corporations to the EnergySMART blog. He has written about everything from militant groups in the Middle East to marriage among immigrants, and most recently led product-marketing at a data visualization firm. He’s joined the EnerNOC team to help document the future of energy use.

Kristen Brewitt

Kris brings insights on the evolving electric grid to the EnergySMART blog based on 15+ years experience in the utility and infrastructure industry as a marketing strategist, consultant, and public policy and communications advisor. Her core focus has been on distributed energy resources, transmission and distribution system technology, and transportation and infrastructure policy. She joined the EnerNOC team to help propel the utility future forward through customer engagement.