FREDERICTON – Businesses that make energy efficiency a priority will save money and please customers and employees that value environmentally responsible practices, says one of the industry experts who will be speaking at the Energizing Efficiency Conference in Fredericton, May 23-24.
Peter Bassett, president of Montreal-based Energy Performance Services (EPS), will be delivering two workshops at next week’s two-day conference organized by NB Power that’s meant to be a springboard for businesses, organizations and governments to think about how to leverage energy efficiency programs to benefit the environment, economy and local homeowners and business owners.
Bassett will touch on two core services the company provides to its customers – mainly large-industrial businesses – that are also relevant to businesses, municipalities and organizations that would benefit from making their own operations more energy efficient.
He will speak about how the EPS Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) program can help companies manage energy use and realize savings. He will also talk about how to make energy efficiency an embedded part of a company’s planning processes – a “Plan-Do-Check-Act model.”
“You have businesses that want to improve their energy efficiency and they convert their lighting to LED and that’s great. That’s a project action, but then they might not focus on energy improvement for another few years after that,” said Bassett.
“We are helping them to make energy-management a systematic element of their business process so that improvement isn’t just a periodic result but a continuous objective.”
The objectives are twofold, says Bassett. Companies save money by making the operations more efficient and cost-effective. They’re also showing employees and customers that they take environmental stewardship seriously, he says.
It can be a differentiator attracting young talent,” said Peter Bassett. “Young workers like to know, ‘is what I’m doing actually aligned with benefitting the planet or am I basically in something that’s gouging the planet.”
“That perception of the company toward some of these values can be an important issue and energy efficiency and energy management fits right in with sustainability.”
He also says companies need to consider their reputations in the mind of consumers, and other companies they either supply or work with.
“It’s this complex new world where environment, energy, are all interconnected,” said Bassett. “Corporations are reading the tea leaves and they’re saying, ‘To be in business, we’re going to have to get on the right side of this.’ So that does mean proactive management of their energy use and other activities that impact on the environment.”
Bassett deals mainly with large industrial customers, and his talks are geared at meeting the efficiency goals of similarly large industrial businesses.
Dennis Naugler, Technical Services Manager for Summerhill, a company that develops and delivers energy efficiency programs, is giving a presentation at the conference geared toward businesses that serve homeowners called, “How to sell energy efficiency.”
Naugler says he works a lot with developers, contractors, and real estate agents; people who need to understand the mindset of the homeowner who wants to have an energy efficient home but without spending a lot on infrastructure upgrades and giving up lifestyle amenities that are important to them.
“It’s really hard to get people to buy energy-efficient upgrades,” he says, “because people will say, ‘Why would I put in a ductless split [heat pump], when for the same money I can put in that really nice hot tub. I’d rather have the hot tub.’ ”
Naugler says people can do both and save money in the end. He says this kind of educational approach is necessary with people who see energy efficiency as something that is a drain on their finances, not something that saves them money while allowing them to enjoy amenities like hot tubs.
John Keough is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Atlantic Division of Rexel, a platinum sponsor of the conference and leader in supplying and installing energy efficient products in businesses around the region.
Keough says people who attend the conference will learn much from experts like Bassett and Naugler, and then share that knowledge with people who didn’t go but still have much to learn about how energy efficiency can save money and the environment at the same time.
Market transformation is created through awareness, and this conference is bringing forward a lot of key areas of knowledge to businesses and industry players in the province in a bigger way,” said John Keough.
He says business owners in particular need to be more aware that energy efficiency is a money saver and not something onerous to implement.
“What they learn here they’ll share with others and broaden the awareness of the fact that current technology can be upgraded from a retrofit perspective with very little disruption to their business,” said Keough. “Owners have a lot on their plates and they need to be able to push the ‘easy button’ on implementing solutions.”
For more information on the Energizing Efficiency conference or to register, visit the conference web site: https://www.nbpower.com/en/save-energy/energizing-efficiency-conference/