The Energy Service Market and the New Economy

March 14, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
LAS VEGAS, NV — “Utilities used to be easy to define.” Those were the words of Frank Shepard of The Trane Company as he addressed attendees of ACCA’s recent convention here. “I grew up in Tennessee and thought utilities were part of the government because of the TVA project.”

With deregulation of the energy market becoming more commonplace, confusion abounds about who the “new” providers are and what services will be available — and what role utilities play as energy providers.

The unregulated portions of utility companies, known as energy services companies (ESCOs), are providing opportunities for hvacr commercial contractors that didn’t exist before, according to Shepard, director of ESCO marketing for Trane.

The “partnering opportunities” would benefit contractors for several reasons. “ESCOs value contractors because of their project development capabilities, their knowledge of facilities and hvacr systems, their skilled labor force, their service/maintenance capabilities, and their experience,” said Shepard.

Shepard gave an example of how ESCOs and contractors could partner. “Here is an example of asset monitization,” he said. “An ESCO partners with a contractor to design, build, and maintain a chilled water plant within a casino. The casino owns the plant but the chilled water is sold back to them by the ESCO [and] serviced by the contractor.”

Shepard cautioned contractors to study partnering concepts. “Be careful because sometimes the plan-and-spec process is better than the partnering process.”

Although the new energy services market has spawned new business models and exciting opportunities, it has also magnified the importance of cooperation and partnerships, because, according to Shepard, one of the former strengths of a business, exclusive access to information, has been weakening.

“Information has always been the glue that held a business together,” he said. “But with the instant availability of information, the glue has begun to dissolve.

“Information and knowledge is what drives competitiveness and drives businesses into the marketplace.”

In other words, the new economy and energy service market will require careful study before its effective use as a business model can be determined. Understand-ing one’s value in this new economy depends on information and more information, he said.

Shepard summarized his presentation with “tactics for success in the energy services market.” Contractors working with business owners should consider partnering, maintain flexibility, and maintain a market position.

Contractors working with customers indirectly through an ESCO should know how to qualify an ESCO; understand one’s value to an ESCO; and know how not to give away that value.

Publication date: 03/19/2001

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by John Hall

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Mark Satterfield

Mark Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing Inc. and author of “The One Week Marketing Plan” talks about his book and the importance of HVAC blogging. Posted on Sept. 19.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 09-15-14 cover

2014 September 15

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Venting R-22

The NEWS reported that a man received prison time for venting R-22. Should EPA step up enforcement?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con