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Keeping abreast of utilities is more important than ever
Sooner or later, electric utility deregulation forces every organization to choose an energy provider, just as consumers had to choose a long-distance telephone service when the telecom industry deregulated. Energy managers who can combine both the supply-side and the demand-side expertise to manage volatile energy prices--the deregulated portion of the energy bill--and can go to bat for an organization in the totally new energy marketplace will be in demand.
Energy procurement is never a one-time deal. Energy procurement must be carefully and continually managed for each type of utility, whether it's electricity, natural or LP gas, oil, or steam.
Managing electric utility resources is an exceptional challenge, primarily because the knowledge needed in mastering the new field was not taught in engineering and technical schools where most of today's energy professionals were educated. An organization can still realize the full potential of its negotiated energy procurement savings by establishing its own utility cost management program, or URM, function. The idea for this function originated with Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. In this way the organization may act as its own utility resource manager.
The URM function should help an organization achieve savings that are higher than market returns for similar organizations with no utility manager. Establishing the function is a critical step in guiding the organization successfully through deregulation. In addition, URM helps management focus on building critical supply-side …