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David L. Noller is president of the Laguna Beach, Calif.-based Institute for Multisite Energy Consumers. Previously, he was with the Ralphs supermarket chain.
EUN: What special skills are unique to multiple-facility managers, as opposed to those with single facilities or campuses? is knowledge of accounting, information technology, purchasing, or other management disciplines useful?
Noller: To understand multiple-site energy executives, contrast them with energy managers at large institutional facilities. Energy managers at large multi-site retail organizations juggle a variety of specialties. not necessarily technical in nature. Wearing more than one hat means dividing their attention between energy and other specialties such as maintenance, engineering, telephones, accounting, or real estate. Their ability to absorb technical information or effect meaningful change varies as does their authority, which ranges from that of the CFO to a bill entry clerk.
Further, while plant engineers can accurately project consumption requirements for the commodity purchase of electricity based upon kWh per widget on a single meter, their multi-site counterpart must anticipate the impact created by new construction, remodeling ... at hundreds of locations.
To effectively manage a multitude of locations, energy managers maximize the use of information-capture and analysis tools. Using specialized exception and trending …