Critical Peak Pricing in the Big Three California Utilities

Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) is a dynamic energy rate designed as part of a requirement by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to enhance grid reliability and protect the environment. The three major utilities in California, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), each have unique CPP tariffs, but they all have some key elements in common, including automatic enrollment for many customers. All three utilities are increasingly placing commercial customers on CPP unless the required steps are taken to opt out. Before your business defaults to CPP, it’s vital to understand what it is and how it could impact your energy budget and facility operations. Here are some key points to help you make the...

The Internet of Things: What is the Impact on Mobile Device and Wireless Expense Management?

As the universe of the “Internet of Things” continues to expand, more and more devices need active, wireless data connections, as well as 24/7 management and help desk support. According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Having more wireless devices also creates more avenues for individuals to exploit unsecured connections, increasing risk and potentially exposing valuable data and trade secrets. As the variety of devices—which can range from biochip transponders to heart implants to smart thermostats—continues to grow, so does the complexity.    Many of these devices hold great value or significant promise for business applications, but they also inevitably create new challenges for wireless expense and mobile resource...

What’s Your Score? Benchmarking Your Buildings with ENERGY STAR®

I recently hosted a webinar on the value of benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. My colleague and webinar co-host, Ricardo Fleury, an Energy Manager at Ecova, and I discussed the ENERGY STAR label, benchmarking regulations and disclosure policies, and provided a tutorial on how to create a profile and benchmark using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. Because of the growing demand for smarter energy consumption and increased awareness of energy efficiency, having the ability to identify your building’s energy performance is more important than ever. Additionally, more and more cities, municipalities, and states are mandating not only benchmarking, but the disclosure of the energy information to provide building owners (and potential owners) with better knowledge of their...

Evaluators & Implementers Merging on the Energy Efficiency Highway

I recently attended the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) Summer Conference in San Francisco, CA. The theme of the conference was “Evaluators & Implementers Merging on the Energy Efficiency Highway.” Ralph Cavanagh, NRDC’s Energy Program Co-Director set the tone for the conference in his keynote speech by sharing historical successes in improving energy efficiency. Every day appliances such as refrigerators and TVs were cited as examples that have experienced significant gains in energy efficiency and savings. Ralph also gave his thoughts on the recently proposed EPA CO2 rules that are set to be finalized June 15, 2015. Energy efficiency is identified as one of the four main drivers to meet CO2 reduction targets set for each state under the proposed rules. The...

Managing Energy Price Risk

Our previous blog post, Preparing for Volatile Energy Prices, explored the key drivers of energy price volatility this past winter. As we have moved into the cooling season, moderate temperatures and significant natural gas storage injections have provided welcome price relief. With prices easing up, it’s easy to become apathetic. Energy pricing may become an afterthought and last winter merely a memory. However, this is the right time to prepare your business for future price volatility by evaluating and refining your energy strategy. Manage Risk Through Strategy How your company manages volatility will be dependent on your risk appetite, which will vary by business. In considering risk appetite, be sure to account for operational, market, budgetary and regulatory risk. The best way...