I remember the last recession all too well, particularly the sudden abrupt financial impact that it left jointly on our clients business and our’s. The global financial meltdown of 2008 created the most toxic business conditions since the great depression. The December 5th economic advisory from UCLA in the referenced  LA Times article is a reminder for business leaders that eliminating waste should be a constant priority. Instead of waiting for that economic challenge to motivate your actions, as the great Nike slogan says, “Just Do It” now.  According to the Department of Energy, American corporations spend $400 billion in energy annually and waste approximately 30% of that total spend.  I believe energy costs are one of the low hanging fruits out there that offers business leaders a painless way of tightening their financial expense belts.

In a recent Forbes article, Hugh Moreno reported that many organizations do not realize they have a problem with energy waste nor are able to quantify it. What I have seen is many of our prospective clients are in denial about truly understanding their utility bills.  Forbes reports that this can be a huge issue: an enterprise with $10 billion in revenue may well spend $500 million a year in energy. Managing the cost of energy is more complex than managing the cost of most commodities, thanks to the time dimension—when you use it.

In many markets, such as California and New York, large commercial and industrial users face demand charges—based on the 15- or 30-minute period during the month when a facility uses the most energy. These demand charges add significantly to the bill. Agave® Systems tracks demand charges for clients which often makes up between 40% to 60% of a client’s corporate bill. The process to track your energy costs is certainly complicated when you consider ever-changing energy prices and the attempt to manage demand costs.

While the macro headwinds are unknown, we see energy cost increases as a constant. We have seen annual increases as high as 7%  for some of our corporate clients. PG&E and SCE clients will have new tariff schedules this upcoming year and Southern California Gas company is expecting to increase their transportation charge.

These changes leave many businesses out in the cold if they do not have an internal process or system to track and manage these costs to determine their bottom line impact. Peter Drucker’s adage “What gets measured, gets managed” applies here. But it’s a real challenge, according to Forbes, the U.S. boasts some 5 million commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, but only 14,000 energy managers, or one for every 360 buildings. Building energy waste is estimated to cost commercial and industrial enterprises $60 billion a year. And newer, more energy-efficient construction won’t make a dent in this waste anytime soon. Some 85% of existing commercial buildings in the U.S. will still be standing in 2030.

So the question is who manages this when you do not have an energy manager or building operator? Try our Agave® Evolution™ Virtual Energy Manager Service which provides key performance indicators, real-time tracking, analysis, forecasting, utility bill validation, process optimization, and demand charge mitigation to drive reduction in energy costs.  Bottom line Agave® Systems helps you better understand your energy usage against your energy costs. Start saving today!

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Regatta Solutions has helped businesses overcome the challenges of unreliable utility power for over a decade now. Several of our clients in the San Diego area are currently benefiting from their power generation projects while SDG&E has power shut down in their area. A Dual Mode power generation project is able to operate even when the grid is not operating. The controls that Regatta Solutions designs for our clients automatically disconnect the power supply from the grid when it becomes unstable or unavailable and then automatically reconnects and operates in Grid Parallel mode when SDG&E comes back online. These projects save millions of dollars for our clients over the life of the project and we even provide financing. The cost of financing is included in our economic models and the actual value of the project is measured by Agave System’s Evolution software so that CFO’s and management can see how their investment is paying off over lifetime and real time. Ask us how a project for your facility would pay off.

The Regatta Solutions team along with a number of Clients met with California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian this last Friday at Capstone Turbine’s facility.  Leading the meeting was Capstone’s CEO Darren Jaminson.  We all were there to collectively support the legislative efforts of Assmblyman Nazarian with Assembly Bill 36 (AB36).

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AB 36 is critical to furthering California’s pursuit of a clean energy future and ensuring that all advanced distributed generation (DG) technologies capable of meeting the state’s stringent environmental standards are allowed to compete on a level playing field.

Regatta Solutions and Capstone Turbine support the California Clean Distributed Energy Coalition.  This coalition is highly supportive of public policies that promote clean energy and technological innovation and we are committed to assisting California in the pursuit of its ambitious clean energy goals.  California’s overall energy demand is expected to double by 2050 concurrent with substantial increases in renewable energy penetration.  This rapid growth reinforces the importance of deploying affordable, innovative and clean energy generation technologies capable of facilitating renewables integration while maintaining reliability.  The DG technologies that Capstone Turbine manufactures provide affordable, clean, and resilient onsite power on par with the highest performing fuel cells on the market and may be particularly valuable in California, where energy costs are extremely high.  We are part of the broader clean energy solution and are ready to be deployed now to meet the state’s growing demand while providing critical environmental, economic and social benefits.

Combined Heat and Power

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) provides power and heating to manufacturing and business sites.

Last week Andrea Marr, VP of Energy Services at Regatta Solutions, and other members of the California Clean Distributed Generation Coalition (CCDC) met with California state lawmakers at the State Capitol. The focus of the conversations was new legislation that would remove the unfair burden of departing load charges from most onsite cogeneration projects. This bill, AB674, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-22), would still require customers with clean onsite generation to pay utility fees for electricity purchased from the grid. It would, however, remove the requirement for these customers to pay what amounts to an additional 75-100% sales tax on these clean generation projects.

Regatta Solutions believes that a transition away from fossil fuel dependency is good for our environment, our air, and our economy. We also believe that cogeneration can ease the transition to a renewable economy by providing very efficient and powerful onsite generation and alleviating congestion on the grid. Industries like manufacturing and food production are extremely power intensive and no amount of solar on the roof will cover their usage. In all but very rare cases, manufacturers will continue to rely on the grid for all of their power, consuming more on hot days and putting a strain on the grid during peak times like the rest of us.

Without legislation to remove the burden of departing load charges, California is unlikely to meet Governor Brown’s goal of 6,500 MW of onsite power from cogeneration by 2020. In many cases, removing this charge would single handedly make projects financially viable. Regatta Solutions urges legislators to pass AB674 as quickly as possible to ensure California’s energy future remains clean and affordable.

The SoCalGas Distributed Energy Resources Seminar is hosting “DG/CHP/Storage, A Clean and Efficient Way to Reduce Energy Costs” at the Downey, CA, Energy Resources Center. Andrea Marr, Regatta Solutions’ VP of Energy Services, will be presenting on combined heat and power (CHP) in distributed generation applications.

Members of the Regatta Solutions team will be exhibiting at a booth and will be available to answer applications questions. Stop by and say hello! There is no cost to attend the seminar.

Date: Thursday, 03/12/15 09:00 AM – 03:00 PM

Register Here

Seminar Description:

Learn How Distributed Energy Resources (DG/CHP/Storage) Can Help Save You Money and Increase Your Energy Reliability

This seminar will focus on natural gas-fired technologies that generate power while also providing heating and cooling needs. Get the latest information on incentives, the market environment, technology developments and current policies and regulations affecting on-site generation.

Learn what steps to take in order to make the most informed decision about your particular application of Distributed Energy Resources.

Several equipment and technology vendors will discuss their experience with successful projects and demonstrations that prove the validity of distributed generation and combined heat and power for a variety of applications. Vendors include gas engine, fuel cell, micro turbine, turbine and energy storage manufacturers.

This seminar will be held at:

Southern California Gas Company
Energy Resource Center
9240 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241

8:30 a.m. check-in and continental breakfast
Networking lunch provided

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