Monday, October 15, 2007

The Challenge for Canadian Hydros

Greetings from Vancouver, where I’m scheduled to speak tomorrow at BC Hydro’s Power of Business conference. The title of this event alone is indicative of the evolution of thinking that industrial energy consumers need to meet today’s energy challenges. With my presentation, I hope to take this thinking a step further. I will describe energy as wealth—or specifically, a form of “cash” that underpins every transaction conducted inside and outside the facility fence. Energy, like any other form of wealth, is worthy of investment, preservation, and growth through strategic wealth management.

This perspective is the key to harmonizing the very different approaches to energy management that are evident within industrial organizations. The engineering community focuses squarely on hardware and projects, almost invariably using “simple payback” as a measure of energy success. The finance team, meanwhile, concerns itself energy commodity markets, seeking the best price it can.

Relatively few organizations harmonize these activities. This blog has offered the make-or-buy strategy for achieving such a holistic approach. The key to achieving this coordinated strategy lies in delegation—energy management is not exclusively for the engineer, a procurement director, an operations lead, or a financial controller. Instead, all of these decision-makers will play a role.

Credit BC Hydro’s conference for evolving the perception of energy and its role in business performance. I look forward to meeting tomorrow’s attendees, although I suspect that technical people will far outnumber the financial decision-makers. Our challenge across all of North America is to “democratize” the energy management role so that all industrial stakeholders understand how they can contribute to managing the wealth that their energy consumption represents.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Who links to my website?