2 min read

Your Business Needs a Whole Health Energy Plan

By 5 on February 26, 2021

Since the dawn of electricity deregulation, most commercial and industrial clients have relied on brokers and sales reps as their primary source of education and strategy development. Clients meet with a different set of sales people to discuss procurement, engineering, demand-side management, sustainability, and resiliency, leading to a fractured decision-making process and piecemeal strategies that lack depth, diversity, harmony, and foresight. When energy prices are falling, the weather is following normal patterns, and suppliers are offering low bids in a race to the bottom, any sales rep or broker running a simple procurement process can appear to be adding value to your business.

But what happens when your energy strategy never contemplated resiliency and rolling power outages quickly erode the bottom line while possibly damaging equipment and creating dangerous conditions? What happens when an overly simplistic energy strategy leads to contractual penalties or revenue limitations after adding an onsite generator or solar array behind the meter? What if the ROI on your energy efficiency project is based on poor assumptions, faulty logic or does not account for the unique attributes and tariffs in each market? What if the generator you recently installed does not meet the necessary standards to participate in economic demand response programs?

For too long, clients have been approaching procurement, engineering, sustainability, and resiliency as separate decisions from one another when, in fact, a synchronous approach is necessary to minimize the undue risks and maximize the opportunities and benefits that come with deregulation. It is time to pivot away from the siloed decision-making of the past and start implementing customized, comprehensive, Whole Health Energy Plans.

This holistic approach to strategic energy management encompasses every part of the energy value chain, from initial construction through procurement and usage optimization to complete grid independence, and everything in between. Each of the individual decisions are made in concert with one another while relying on the overarching strategy and guidance of a robust energy advisory firm, like 5.

Many of our clients are successfully executing on their Whole Health Energy Plan by leaning on 5’s intellectual capital and team-based approach to address the following:
• Construction services and site selection, including design and equipment considerations
• Energy efficiency projects and infrastructure upgrades, HVAC, lighting, and controls
• Client usage analytics, benchmarking, budgeting, tariff and tax auditing, local law reporting, EnergyStar, LEED, WELL Building, ASHRAE audits, and regulatory guidance
• Bill data management, metering, and submetering
• Customized procurement and on-going product management
• Demand response participation at the utility and/or ISO levels
• Power factor correction, coincident peak management, load optimization, load resource programs
• Renewable energy procurement, onsite solar, utility scale solar, renewable retail contracts, RECs, PPAs, VPPAs, carbon offsets, de-carbonization, wind energy, Green Hydrogen, and ESG master planning
• Resiliency plans with a diverse set of options, including distribution generation, microgrids, battery storage, fuel cells, CHP, and more 

The details of which programs are best for each client’s Whole Health Energy Plan depends on a complex set of variables. That is why client relationships begin with an in-depth review of operations and usage data along with a series of diagnostic meetings to best understand the client’s needs, risks, and opportunities. The agreed upon plans must be farsighted, while also adjusting over time to fit the evolving needs of the client, the utilization of new technologies, and the ever-changing dynamics of the market.

A well-designed Whole Health Energy Plan reduces costs, improves resiliency, enhances sustainability, and ultimately creates a competitive edge for our clients. Contact our team to discuss options for your Whole Health Energy Plan here.

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Topics: Markets Procurement Demand Response Sustainability Education
2 min read

Urgent Texas Electricity Update

By 5 on February 15, 2021

Conservation Needed

To all businesses and homes in Texas fortunate enough to still have power, please reduce electricity consumption throughout the rest of Monday and Tuesday. The Texas electric grid is experiencing unprecedented strain, and many have been without power since early Monday morning. You can help by reducing the setpoint on your thermostats, turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances, closing shades and blinds, and avoiding use of large appliances (ovens, washing machines, etc).    

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Topics: Markets ERCOT Education
7 min read

January 2021 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on January 19, 2021

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the fourth quarter of 2020. This issue revisits the 2020 election and discusses its potential impact on energy policy. Other topics covered include: (i) key energy provisions in the Stimulus Bill passed on December 29, 2020, (ii) green hydrogen, and (iii) the continued shift in generation from coal and nuclear to renewables. We conclude by noting the dramatic spike of LNG prices in Asia, a good reminder that, notwithstanding a long period of depressed pricing, electricity and natural gas remain volatile commodities that must be carefully managed.

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Topics: Newsletters Education
3 min read

Federal Stimulus for K-12 Schools

By 5 on January 14, 2021

Throughout the rollercoaster of the past year, it is always a pleasure to share positive news that impacts school districts. Recently a new pool of Federal stimulus dollars was earmarked for HVAC upgrades in K-12 schools and many school districts qualify. 

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Topics: Clients Education
6 min read

Let's Talk About "RECs", Baby

By 5 on December 22, 2020

In recent conversations with clients and suppliers, we have noticed the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) has been viewed with some degree of disdain and ridicule. Some of the negative impressions associated with RECs are justified. About a decade ago, the energy industry went through an era of “greenwashing” where many companies made dubious environmental claims, and RECs certainly played a role in some of those cases[1].

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Topics: Sustainability Education Renewables
3 min read

Ohio HB6, a Householder of Cards

By 5 on November 24, 2020

Ohio House Bill 6 (HB6), signed into law in July 2019, provided a bailout for two nuclear plants and two coal plants while lowering Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency goals substantially. At the time of its passage, the legislation was treated to a negative reception from the press and the bill faced scrutiny from environmental groups. Following the arrest of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, a fierce advocate for HB6, on racketeering charges, Ohio lawmakers are debating whether to repeal the law, and how.

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Topics: Markets PJM Education
6 min read

Introduction to Green Hydrogen

By Sean Ewart on November 24, 2020

It’s got Jim Cramer saying it’s “sexy” and natural gas companies betting their futures on it. What are we talking about? Green hydrogen (GH2). And no, GH2 isn’t just hydrogen by another name, it’s hydrogen produced by renewable energy and there are several important reasons why its trending today.  

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Topics: NYISO Sustainability Education Renewables
1 min read

ERCOT's Winter 2020 Outlook

By 5 on November 6, 2020

Yesterday, November 5th, ERCOT released its Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the upcoming winter season. In summary, the grid operator expects to have plenty of power plant capacity available this winter. ERCOT expects winter peak demand to top out at 64.5 GW, just shy of the all-time winter peak demand record of 65.9 GWs*

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Topics: Markets ERCOT Education Renewables
1 min read

Fall 2020 Energy Market Webinar

By 5 on September 23, 2020

Join us for the energy market insights you need to know for your business. 5's Lead Energy Analyst, Eric Bratcher, provides a detailed look into each energy market during three regional webinars.

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Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT Education
2 min read

Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions During Lockdown

By 5 on September 10, 2020

COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways. At 5, we transitioned to remote working on March 16th as lockdowns were imposed in the states where we live. One positive that came from this transition is that fewer cars are on the road. The result is a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The 5 Planeteers, our internal sustainability team, wanted to highlight the environmental impacts of this reduction and calculated the overall carbon emissions that our team has saved by telecommuting since mid-March.

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Topics: Sustainability Education