Own your energy

April 27, 2015 - Green Buildings

Nicholas Davis, GridMarket

Energy has been reliably boring for over a century. You expect regular power with predictable bills each month. Only when an outage hits and the lights go off do the majority of consumers recognize how dependent we are on these electrons, and acknowledge the need for safe, reliable, and resilient backups. Only when the bills are unexpectedly high or vendors and ESCOs are particularly aggressive do owners and operators really dive into strategy saving measures.
In New York, a perfect storm of policy changes, incentives, and threats to our infrastructure have created the ideal climate for properties to participate in advanced energy markets. The ConEdison's Demand Management Program, the BQDM grid stress region, and New York's Reforming the Energy Vision are paving the way for New York's energy market modernization.
One of the most exciting offerings hitting the market today is "energy storage." When people refer to energy storage for your properties, they are talking about big batteries and ice storage systems. These systems reduce the electric load your buildings draw from the grid, taking in purchased grid energy when it is cheaper (alternatively, charging up with solar power during the day), and discharging to support the building when it is more expensive. This strategy reduces stress on the grid and lowers energy costs passed down to you by the utility.
Energy storage is not new. Batteries themselves have been capturing energy for centuries. Ben Franklin coined the term "battery" during his experiments with early capacitors, and Alessandro Volta produced the first true battery in 1800. Batteries aside, owners and operators are all familiar with the most talked-about mediums for storing energy around - fuel oil, diesel, gasoline, natural gas - and are learning that the pollution generated from these mediums is increasingly regulated and prohibited at a local level, with natural gas as a current exception.
Owners and operators should be aware of a few basic points with regard to their energy management.
1. You have an unprecedented window into your data consumption:
A. Organizations like GridMarket.com will analyze this for free and identify savings for you.
B. Real-time monitoring enables you to predict and react to your energy needs.
2. Let 3rd party providers do the work for you:
A. Capital leases and shared-savings agreements for hosting Distributed Energy Resources save you time and money for minimal risk.
B. Your vendors can help you navigate the tax breaks and incentives that make these projects even richer. GridMarket's marketplace identifies the best DER vendors in the market.
3. The REV policy climate will increase the value of hosted DERs like energy storage, solar, etc.:
A. Take advantage of available incentives and programs now, as these assets will become exponentially more valuable to you as the market evolves in the coming months.
In short, the time is now to own your energy future. Feel free to reach out to nick.davis@gridmarket.com to learn the best ways to navigate the market and maximize your energy dollars.
Nicholas Davis is the president of
GridMarket, New York, N.Y.

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