For many years, the need for Demand Side Management has been successfully marketed in many areas across the United States. Even in parts of the country where the cost for energy is less than in other areas, many customers know that to remain competitive in their industry, energy savings plays a crucial part. Customers also realize that cleaner sources of power can positively affect the overall environment. As Demand Side Management is achieved, much of our finite planet is also preserved. The need for additional power plants is reduced. Emerging technologies are implemented and money is reinvested into other areas of the business. Financing programs are more available than ever, especially for small business that may not have the access to capital expenditures needed to implement Demand Side Management. Even local utilities are offering 0% interest financing! Business customers that invest in Demand Side Management (e.g., Energy Efficiency and Demand Response) will find that the long term benefits far outweigh the short term concerns of investing in this area.
Operational/Behavioral approach should always be considered and implemented first, prior to investing any capital for reducing one's costs. Often this crucial area is overlooked in favor of investing in the latest technologies. Operational opportunities should be exhausted first, as many times, they are the easiest to execute, at the lowest cost, and then allows the proper design of hardware improvements. This approach can be implemented almost immediately.
Understanding the Technologies: Often business customers are quick to pursue the very popular technologies. This is commendable, and in a retail setting may also increase sales. However, the productivity of the workforce, adaptability to the new measures implemented, and the durability of the new measures must be carefully weighed for the greater long term benefits.
A Complete Package: Every Demand Side Management undertaking should be complete. Demand Response complements Energy Efficiency very nicely, especially with every increasing energy rates. There are many opportunities for customers to permanently reduce energy loads, while operating the new efficient measures during the lowest cost time periods during the day. The local utilities also offer lower rate options for a customer's willingness to participate in Demand Response.
Secure Employee Participation: A "soft" approach to Demand Response is getting employees involved in eliminating unnecessary use of energy during a business day. A common belief that may exist is that employees may not have this as a priority, because employees are not responsible for paying the energy bill. Consider offering gifts or perhaps even a monetary bonus for employees that do the most to contribute ideas, actions, for this accomplishment.
SAFETY: Always promote an environment of Safety. There is a saying:" If something cannot be done safely, it is not worth doing at all." All of us want to get home safely to our families and friends at the end of the day. Be very proactive in this area. Collaborate with local entities (i.e., Highway Patrol, Fire Department and OSHA just to name a few) that promote safety. This will not only do much to keep your employees safe, and reduce time off due to Worker Compensation issues, but it will promote you to your customers as a "proactive" business" in an area that should be at the core of any corporate goal and objective.
Be Excited: Role Model behavior excels here. If you are excited and well educated in this subject, your employees will also be excited. Exercise Servant Leadership at every opportunity to showcase your business through its employees. Nothing is more rewarding than having employees that will always be looking for ways to improve your business through increased profitability and industry image.
About the Author:
Green Energy Innovations is a new CIOMA member. Nick Guillen is the Director of Operations for Green Energy Innovations, Inc., (GEI) located in Santa Fe Springs, California. GEI is a Customer Authorized Agent (CAA) that provides viable Demand Side Management solutions for business customers in California and other states. GEI has received formal recognition by Southern California Edison three years in a row for being a leader in the industry. GEI has been invited to speak on several occasions at utility sponsored functions to motivate others to start a CAA business also. Mr. Guillen's background includes a 29 year career with Southern California Edison (SCE) where his responsibilities consisted of the managing and hiring of qualified employees for SCE, and working as an Account Manager with the largest industrial, institutional business customers in Southern California, providing viable Demand Side Management solutions. www.geinnovationsinc.com