Collectively, we have the power to influence great change - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Procurement, Industrial, Power Prices, Regulation, Commercial, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  March 29, 2017 - By John Failla

Collectively, we have the power to influence change

Among an array of takeaways from the inaugural Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Summit, the emergence of one very powerful theme has stuck with me.

The message, reiterated throughout the event by various participants, is this:

If harnessed, the collective power of the commercial and industrial energy management executives in attendance and, by extension, the broader C&I readership of Smart Energy Decisions, has the potential to influence significant change in the industry.

Adam Kramer, executive vice president of strategy at Switch, demonstrated this realistic potential best when he explained how a group of large energy customers in Nevada banded together to form an alliance that may very well revolutionize the electric power market in Nevada. Kramer encouraged Summit attendees to work collaboratively to influence change in both how utilities serve large customers and how state legislation impacts their business.

The overall spirit of collaboration and shared purpose during the Summit was inspiring. Both energy managers and suppliers acknowledged the success of the event in their evaluations (and check out the video below for more highlights):

  • 93% of energy management executives said they are very likely or likely to attend the 2018 Innovation Summit.
  • 94% of suppliers said they are very likely or likely to renew their participation in the 2018 Innovation Summit. 

The event kicked off with a keynote from Allan Schurr, president of Edison Energy, about the estimated $80 billion in energy savings opportunities that have been identified among the country's largest energy users. In addition to the Q&A with Adam Kramer, Smart Energy Decisions content director Amy Poszywak also interviewed RJ Johnson, executive director of NextEra Energy Resources, about success strategies for commercial and industrial organizations sourcing renewable energy. All three of these executives, in some way or another, reiterated the enormous potential large commercial and industrial companies have to help shape the country's energy future.

Other keynote presentations included General Motors Co. global manager of renewable energy Rob Threlkeld, William Hoenigmann, global category manager for energy, Becton Dickinson and Co., and David Reid, global energy and productivity leader at Celanese Corp.

The Innovation Summit also featured a series of panels:

  • Calpine Energy Solutions vice president of commodity sales, Gayle McCutchan, discussed energy procurement strategies in deregulated markets with Rowena Striff, energy manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. and Michal Shepard, director of energy and maintenance at Harris Teeter.
  • Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives for ACRE/Urban Future Labs/Powerbridge at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, Mark Vasu, executive vice president at Greentown Labs, and Jean Redfield, president and CEO at NextEnergy offered exclusive insights into emerging technologies in energy management.
  • Peter Kelly-Detwiler, principal at NorthBridge Energy Partners, discussed challenges and opportunities for C&I adoption of energy storage with Aaron Daly, global director of energy management at Whole Foods Market and Art Justice, vice president of energy and sustainability at Cinemark.
  • Michael Barry, head of sustainable business operations at Bloomberg LP; Mary Curtiss, global head of energy and sustainability, corporate real estate, at HP and Steve Skarda, global climate and energy leader at Procter & Gamble discussed innovative models for sourcing for sourcing renewable energy.

We'd like to thank the Smart Energy Decisions advisory board for their counsel; the energy management executives who attended the event; and the supplier sponsors who supported the event for their individual and collective roles in creating a unique event experience for the industry. We'd especially like to thank Innovation Summit Presenting Sponsor Edison Energy for its leadership and commitment.

Since the launch of Smart Energy Decisions in February 2016, it has been a privilege to serve our readers. Given your continued engagement and feedback, and the success of this first event, we'll be doubling down on our commitment to do everything we can to help you achieve success in adopting best practices in energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy.

John Failla John Failla 
Founder and editorial director
Smart Energy Decisions 


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