The Southern Energy Technology Institute, LLC (SETI) provides energy management services to commercial, industrial, institutional and governmental clients across the United States. The company’s perspective is focused on the fact that energy and utilities represent a significant and highly volatile area of expenditure for most businesses.
Traditional energy management approaches frequently fail to deliver sustainable results, and many managers consider energy costs as difficult to manage because of market regulation and commodity volatility. However, with good planning, continuous monitoring and active energy management programs, businesses can avoid cost increases and obtain substantial energy cost savings through improved energy demand management and energy control; sustain those savings with ongoing monitoring; and optimize energy procurement with good market intelligence.
SETI utilizes an integrated three-step process as part of an active energy management strategy to reduce and manage costs, optimize energy consumption, and address traditional energy management shortcomings:
1- Apply proactive energy management: This work product includes mapping out a general strategic energy management plan and can also include continuous monitoring and timely reporting taking analysis and monitoring from a one time activity to an active, ongoing analytical competency.
There are several keys to making energy savings predictable and measurable. First and foremost, consider taking monitoring and measurement from a one-time analysis to an ongoing, active competency. Some clients utilize around-the-clock advanced metering and monitoring technology with skilled analysts to proactively monitor energy consumption data and patterns. Continuous monitoring helps mitigate the savings leakage that often occurs after the initial energy audits and when the consultants have left town.
Active monitoring and reporting allows managers to see in near real time, if employee behavior begins to change or old habits return, and also identify the root causes when actual energy consumption differs from projections. In addition to preventing savings leakage, active monitoring helps identify new, incremental energy savings opportunities, raising the cumulative savings realized.
With the right intelligence, detailed monitoring, and intelligent control systems, energy analysts can assess performance and stop energy savings leakage immediately. In addition, analysts can spot potential maintenance issues and proactively investigate when machine level performance deviates from expectations.
Sound energy management practices should be as much the responsibility of the executive suite as it is the front line employees. Without planning and quantification, energy and cost management can become energy mismanagement in short order. A dollar saved on utilities expenditures is a dollar that may be spent on new facilities, research, and other capital programs.
2. 2 - Leverage Insight: Use energy demand insight and intelligence to enhance capital investment decisions and capture incentives and rebates to drive higher ROI. A comprehensive understanding of the consumption profile of the existing asset base enables much better capital investment decisions. Armed with detailed data and realistic energy consumption estimates, managers can rationally weigh energy efficiency benefits of new equipment vs. purchase costs and other related expenses (i.e., decommissioning and disposal cost, production downtime, etc.)
Beyond energy data, deeper market intelligence and knowledge of state, local and federal rebates, credits and incentives can dramatically alter the ROI profile of new capital investments and new technology…including renewable sources of energy supply. The opportunities are substantial: In 2011 alone, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and utilities paid out more than $6.8 billion in cash payments to promote energy efficiency alone.
3. 3- Manage the Supply Side: Extend active energy management to integrated energy supply and cost management to drive the next level of operational savings. With a platform of ongoing strategic and tactical planning, measurement and management reporting established, businesses can take energy savings to the next level.
Detailed understanding of historical and planned consumption allows users to optimize energy procurement. For example, energy consumers can capture savings through techniques like load shifting (shifting usage into lower rate time periods where possible) and peak shaving through on-site generation, to include renewables like solar PV arrays. Businesses can also optimize energy expenditures by taking advantage of the various rate structures, riders, andincentive programs that are available to purchasers that have the market intelligence and are aware of which available rates and programs are applicable to them.
Other Business Services
Project Analysis and Feasibility Studies
- Exploration and information gathering for sound business decision making
- Weighing alternatives among several project ideas or proposals
- Risk minimization and mitigation
- Market assessments/industry overviews
- Financial assessments including start-up costs, revenue & income projections and sources of financing
- Financial projections including best case, most likely case and worst case scenarios
- SWOT Analysis including Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
- Objective assessments of business ideas based on decades of experience
- Professional feasibility reports with key findings, conclusions and Go/No Go recommendations
New Technology Assessment and Development
- Identification of market trends and market niches
- Monitoring emerging technologies
- Competitive analysis and assessments
- Needs identification > requirements development > research > design > testing > standardization > implementation & operations > review & modification