Month: July, 2018
We’re proud of the intelligent, passionate, and hardworking people that make up the Bright Power team. Each month, you’ll get a chance to meet one of them, understand how they contribute to the organization, and what makes them excited to come to work every day.
Meet Jesse Petersen, Sales Operations Manager.
What are some of the things you like most about working at Bright Power?
I like working with people who can think for themselves and are discerning when presented with information. We have a working environment where my colleagues strive to be constructive, challenge you to question what you think you know, and they work hard to help each other learn. This approach accelerates one’s growth in their everyday job.
What are some projects and accomplishments you’re most proud of?
Putting rhyme and reason to our pricing process through collaboration with the Account Management, Engineering, and Operations teams. This includes formalizing our service products and standardizing our scopes of work for each of Bright Power’s 83 (yeah that many) service offerings. I don’t think Google even has that many service offerings!
Establishing stronger relationships with the implementation contractors and utilities as a key incentive program partner. Many programs look to us for direction in their program design and often elicit our input before rolling out new or revised incentive programs. I think I’ve made a positive contribution to that process in advocating on behalf of our clients’ interests be it with the Public Service Commission, ConEdison, NYSERDA, PSE&G, the NJ BPU, or with the implementation contractors in California.
What’s something people might not know about you and your role at Bright Power?
I have a hand in many facets of our business and have worked with each executive and their teams on various projects. I work regularly with the Engineering Directors to develop our scopes of services and price our contracts, and have even occasionally taken on project management duties. I also provide our engineers advisory support on incentive program project staging and incentive payment coordination. In the recent past, I’ve worked with the Energy Analysts on generating utility usage data sets to identify sites for potential Distributed Energy Resource (DER) applications, developed Salesforce re-designs for our pricing intake process with the Operations team, assisted Legal with modifying the terms and conditions of our contracts, and have co-authored responses to RFPs&Qs for our Executive and Strategic Initiatives teams.
As Bright Power’s Sales Operations Manager, I combine the work I do across divisions to build the infrastructure we need to improve our business and operational needs with the work of distilling technical and programmatic information (including incentives, financing, and public policy) for the Account Managers and their clients.
What are some of the incentive programs you’ve worked with and which of these have worked really well for our clients?
As primary liaison for Bright Power’s incentive program partnerships, I’ve worked with NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program (MPP), NY-Sun, Combined Heat-and-Power (CHP), and Real-Time Energy Management (RTEM) programs as well as ConEdison’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency (MFEEP), Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency (CIEEP), Demand Management (DMP), and Non-Wires Solutions programs here in New York. I’ve also worked closely with the Board of Public Utilities’ clean energy programs and the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) in New Jersey. Other states and programs I’ve been active in include Connecticut’s Energize CT Program, the Mass Save Program in Massachusetts, Pepco’s Multifamily programs in Maryland and Washington D.C., as well as California-based multifamily programs in the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCal Gas service territories.
I think the NY-Sun incentive program has worked pretty well in making solar more accessible for our clients. It shaves a good percentage off our costs for installing solar systems and is structured in a way that’s transparent and easy to understand. The MW-block structure allows us to know in advance the amount of incentives a project is eligible for before the work begins and that predictability makes the prospect of installing solar a more convincing proposition. This incentive has also been bolstered by the federal investment tax credit (ITC) and the precipitous decline in the cost of solar PV modules over the last decade but the NY-Sun incentive has made the investment decision easier, particularly in New York City where it can still be quite expensive to do solar work. Since 2000, the NY-Sun program has incentivized over 217 MW of installed capacity (DC) in the “small commercial” sector alone–that’s the project sector Bright Power participates in the most. This sector represents 20% of all the installed capacity in the state that’s gone through the NY-Sun program. Bright Power has installed over 6 MWs of solar since 2010 which is an impressive chunk of that market, especially when you consider the constraints of working with limited roof space in the five boroughs of New York City.
A hot summer puts winter on edge.
The Bottom Line
With the record hot summer continuing, storage of natural gas is becoming an issue. For now, up-to-date prices for electricity and natural gas still compare favorably to 2016 and 2017 rates and present opportunities to reduce costs through both fixed and variable supply contracts.
What to know about 2018
Currently, wholesale natural gas prices are 8% lower than 2017. The summer 2018 favorable pricing may reverse as the year continues. Above normal temperatures cause high gas demand for electric generation to meet cooling needs. This, coupled with increased exports of liquified natural gas (LNG), will reduce the amount of gas available for winter and cause upward pressure on rates. If you have contracts expiring in 2018, we recommend exploring replacement agreements sooner than later.
Why Act Now
The changes in market conditions ahead increase the risk of higher prices and are clear signals to now to assess your supply options for electric and natural gas. Look to protect costs this winter by acting while rates are low.
Temperature Probability Maps
This summer may be the hottest on record. An El Niño effect is forecasted for this fall and winter, which may lower rates by creating milder temperatures. The orange/red in the maps below indicate heat increases from normal. Continued hot weather will cause upward pressure on pricing, while a mild fall and winter can mean low energy demand and low prices.
Having an energy and water strategy in place — and sticking to it — will help to improve building and portfolio performance. A successful strategy helps you to look at your entire portfolio and prioritize your investments, source and secure incentives and financing, install improvements, and measure the data to verify the success and best inform other opportunities.
Why it Matters
Several of our clients have strategies that allow them to realize benefits beyond their goals. While you might strive to achieve only 1 or 2 of the below, you can often realize additional, unexpected benefits when you deploy a coordinated strategy with an expert. This is why many leading organizations work with us to make it a priority.
- Lower operating costs
- Reduce waste
- Secure more attractive financing
- Receive incentives
- Reduce maintenance headaches
- Increase property value
- Increase NOI with new investment opportunities
- Improve tenant comfort and retention
- Receive certifications like LEED or ENERGY STAR
- Diminish risk of project delays
- Drive corporate sustainability goals
- Reduce negative environmental impacts
- Increase operating cash flow for the life of a building
Map it Out
No matter your current approach to sustainability, we can help you create your strategic roadmap. As an energy and water management partner, Bright Power helps develop an organization-specific strategy and implement it successfully. Our Find, Fix, Follow approach ensures we recommend the right strategy for each portfolio and owner. How does it work? We Find areas of energy and water waste using utility bills; Fix buildings to perform optimally through our turnkey energy audits and retrofits; Follow the data to ensure every project achieves its goals.
Using the steps below, under our Find, Fix, Follow approach, you can feel confident no stone will be left unturned and your strategy will be integrated.
Mercy Housing utilized our Find, Fix, Follow approach to breakthrough challenges and define what success meant to them. Partnering with Bright Power and Affordable Community Energy Services Company (ACE), Mercy Housing sought to upgrade 80+ California properties. We prioritized the improvements across the properties in the most cost-effective way, bundling financing, incentives, and high-impact upgrades. The entire project is being implemented in phases and anticipates the last set of properties to be completed by early 2020.
Mercy Housing is able to utilize a “Pay from Savings” financing model to complete efficiency improvements when they are needed most, rather than waiting for refinancing or taking out a secondary loan. Addressing Mercy Housing’s challenges head on allowed us to find the best solution for them. Learn more about Mercy Housing’s strategy for implementing energy and water projects here.
Easier Said Than Done
Like everything in life, sticking to a plan is easier said than done. The importance of sticking to your strategy may seem obvious but it keeps your team accountable and helps you avoid costly delays. Keeping your goals and benefits top of mind and in plain sight while you implement your strategy will help keep the commitment alive. The good news is that you can rely on an expert like Bright Power to guide your organization throughout the entire strategy, execute implementation, and be your champion to remind you why staying on track is valuable.
Remember, energy and water improvements don’t go out of style like interior upgrades. Here are a few tips to staying on track and keeping to it:
- Budget in advance.
- Create tangible milestones that you know you will keep, and be realistic.
- If you don’t have the in-house bandwidth, then get help from experts.
- Look to others within your organization and outside for examples of what works best.
- Post a visual reminder of the value and results you will see if you stay on track – it keeps you motivated.
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for future blogs in which I will share insights from owners and operators that are leaders in sustainability — including lessons learned and best practices for implementing an energy and water strategy.
Missed last week’s “Implementing Your Energy and Water Strategy: Where to Start?” Check it out here.
Making good on annual energy and water performance goals is hard.
Whether you’re a building owner or operator, work on-site or in a corporate office, your day-to-day work life does not revolve around energy and water performance. Other, more seemingly urgent priorities arise that continually postpone analyzing and taking action on energy and water usage. But, by devoting a small, focused amount of time, you can develop an energy and water strategy that will result in more efficient, sustainable, and profitable buildings.
You can do this! And here’s how.
Set Tangible Goals
Take Bozzuto Management Company. In 2015, they sought to reduce energy across all company-managed properties and establish corporate sustainability goals. Bozzuto defined specific targets like their annual 3% energy savings portfolio goal, joined an energy efficiency initiative under U.S. Department of Buildings’ Better Buildings Challenge, and established a goal of increasing recycling by a minimum of 5% year over year across all communities.
“By establishing a meaningful and achievable goal – the first of many focused on sustainability – we are able to share with our clients that we too are committed to high performance. We can work in partnership with them while growing and promoting a culture of sustainable operations internally.”
Director of Sustainability, Bozzuto Management Company
Design and Implement Your Strategy
The first step many Bright Power clients, like Bozzuto, take to implement their energy and water strategy is to benchmark their properties. Through an analytics tool like our EnergyScoreCards™ cloud-based platform, they can gain a deeper understanding of their energy and water consumption, identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement, and measure and verify results after project implementation.
By defining their goals, outlining a tangible strategy, and implementing it, Bozzuto was able to achieve a 3% energy reduction in 2017 across their whole portfolio. This decrease in energy usage translates to nearly $1 million in savings compared to 2016 data measured in EnergyScoreCards and over $15.5 million in increased asset value across the entire portfolio. Not to mention being awarded ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the second year in a row and named Property Management Company of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), showcasing that you don’t have to choose between doing what’s right for your business and for the environment.
Clients like Bozzuto Management Company are proving that with a sound energy and water strategy in place, goals can be met.
Continue reading here to learn why having an energy and water strategy is important, how to get projects done more holistically, and tips to staying on track so that you can reach your goals.