Drastic changes in the electric utility and energy markets beginning in the late 1970s have continued unabated through the present with the potential for even more sweeping and accelerating changes due to serious environmental, geo-political and international concerns. Renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation - the focus of state and federal government in the 1970-1980 eras, have once again risen to a high profile high on the political and public "radar" screen. However, added to the mix this time are new concerns over climate change and carbon emissions - setting the stage for continued, and extensive changes in the energy markets.
The "trend" of change began in 1978 when the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), introduced competition into the wholesale electric markets, encouraged efficient use of energy resources and promoted the use of "alternative" fuel resources - now often referred to as "renewable" or "green" energy resources. The genesis of the trend was the "oil shock" of the mid-1970s that raised serious concerns about America's dependence on foreign fuels. PURPA has been followed by a more-or-less constant stream of more expansive federal "energy acts" and landmark orders and decisions by the Federal agencies and courts.
Policy makers have now shifted their attention to promoting and encouraging renewable energy resources, reducing "green house gas" (GHG) emissions, and further expanding energy conservation and recovery technologies. The result has been - and is expected to continue to be - a dynamic process of creating various "carrot and stick" incentives to accomplish energy objectives. Those incentives will no doubt significantly impact both energy consumers and providers. Whether those impacts will be positive or negative will depend directly on how well informed, prepared and responsive the individual consumer is to current objectives and incentives. The bottom line is that alternative energy - ("renewable" and/or "green"), energy conservation, energy efficiency, energy recovery and climate change concerns are taking on a growing importance that will continue to change the energy landscape in various ways into the foreseeable future.
The lack of a clear time frame for implementation of the anticipated incentives - by Federal or State government, or both - have deterred some consumers from implementing energy strategies designed to reap the potential benefits and avoid the pitfalls of the new energy environment. However, forward-thinking, proactive consumers are taking actions specifically designed to minimize the risks and optimize the potential benefit from the new and changing energy market-place. Such actions can provide opportunities and rewards for those who are sufficiently knowledgeable and versed in the subject matter - or dangers and pitfalls to those who are not.
Astute Consumers Will Proactively Respond To Energy Market Changes.
The dynamic processes that are transforming the energy markets - including the present "transitional" period - are providing consumers with opportunities and options that did not previously exist. In analyzing these opportunities and options, customers are challenged to ask the right questions and to make choices best suited to their particular circumstances and objectives. Some consumers will choose to "do nothing" - to wait and see how the process plays out. Businesses that choose to "do nothing" are in fact choosing to accept the possibility that their competitors will seize upon the new opportunities and derive a significant competitive advantage. APEX assists clients in pro-actively assessing potential opportunities and risks, and successfully dealing with the evolving energy markets.
It is crucial that energy consumers be well informed with regard to new options and alternatives which will be available to them. Successful businesses must possess or acquire expertise in evaluating and understanding the circumstances they face as the retail electric markets are deregulated. APEX provides clients with the specialized technical expertise necessary to evaluate and determine the best options for its clients, and keep them up-to-date on the rapidly changing electric energy market conditions.
Electric utilities and energy suppliers, as well as consumers will also be impacted by the changing markets. Industry observers expect that utilities will be mandated or "incented" to produce or purchase a portion of their electricity from renewable or green sources, will be required to reduce GHG emissions and will be required to encourage conservation and energy efficiency by their customers. Those consumers possessing attributes that can help an electric utility or energy supplier accomplish such objectives will be of special "value". APEX can assist clients in quantifying the market value of such attributes, seeking purchasers of such attributes, and evaluating proposals to purchase or acquire such attributes at terms and conditions favorable to the consumer and reflective of then current market trends and characteristics.
Cost Savings Opportunities
As the energy market changes, successful businesses must identify and evaluate opportunities that will favorably impact their "bottom line", while avoiding risks which could have unfavorable economic consequences. However, it may not always be practical or cost-effective for a business to maintain in-house staff with the engineering, financial, operational, regulatory and technical expertise necessary to identify and evaluate opportunities, and to identify and quantify the risks presented by market changes. APEX's broad range of services provides its clients with the knowledge and expertise to successfully adapt to the changing market.
Are You Poised To Respond To The Opportunities And Avoid the Risks?
The transformation of America's energy markets in response to powerful economic, environmental, geo-political, international and socio-economic conditions will present extraordinary opportunities for those who are fully informed and aware. Conversely, they can present serious pit-falls, risks and dangers to those not adequately prepared. APEX possesses the experience and expertise to help its clients seize the opportunities presented while avoiding the risks and dangers.