Renewable, clean and sustainable energy is crucial now, more than ever. That’s where Energy Strategies comes in — an independent energy consulting firm that provides insights on the most complex energy challenges facing Utah and the United States.
Industrial energy users — hospitals, universities, refineries, fuel companies and large grocery and retail stores — rely on enormous amounts of energy. Energy Strategies helps these businesses and organizations understand market dynamics, technological advances on clean energy, regulatory changes and policy developments.
The Utah Association of Energy Users (UAE) is a trade association under Energy Strategies whose members include some of the largest energy users in Utah.
“We have a very diverse group of members,” said Kelly Francone, director of UAE and senior consultant at Energy Strategies. “We represent them in front of the Public Service Commission on regulatory issues here in Utah and lobby on their behalf in front of the legislature. We are the only representative in the state for that large group.”
Energy Strategies was founded in 1986 in response to the deregulation of natural gas by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The firm created a more feasible and affordable way for large energy users to obtain natural gas by buying it in the marketplace, rather than locally.
“We provide services for large energy users because they are so important to our economy,” said Francone. “These companies have hundreds and hundreds of employees who make all kinds of important products we use every day. We want to help keep electric and gas rates more affordable for them because they use so much energy.”
For instance, UAE has partnered with Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) in creating two tariffs under which large energy users can buy renewable energy through RMP or build renewable energy at their facilities so that they use less fossil fuels and be more carbon neutral.
“Utah companies want to have a green footprint, and we’re helping them get there,” said Francone. “Many industries have moved away from emitting large amounts of pollution because they’ve done so much to meet their Environmental Protection Agency and permitting rules.”
As energy usage decreases, monetary savings increase. In response, this money can go towards other essential operating areas, such as investing in more equipment and employing more people. With the improvement of technology over the years, energy usage will continue to transform and bring even more benefits.
“I think one of the most important things we do at Energy Strategies is providing that voice for industrial energy users,” said Francone. “Our staff of experts — highly skilled engineers and economists — work all over the country to help keep electric and natural gas rates for industrial energy users fair and reasonable.”
As a member of the Salt Lake Chamber, Energy Strategies has been able to strengthen that voice and create lasting business connections.
“We want to be at the table on energy issues, and the Chamber has provided opportunities for us to do that,” said Francone. “It’s a great way to meet other people and advocate our perspectives from both environmental and industrial standpoints.”
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