Energy Services evolves to meet your needs

WAPA has always been committed to helping customers deal with both the routine and unexpected challenges of powering the West and keeping that assistance relevant has required constant evolution over the past 40 years.

Assessing value
Lately, WAPA has been looking at the programs and initiatives it offers to determine which bring the most value to customers and which have served their purpose. A cross-functional Assessment Team was formed in 2017 to evaluate various programs and efforts for potential efficiencies, with the goal of improving business processes and allocating resources appropriately for current and future priorities.

WAPA’s Energy Services and its Equipment Loan Program were among those chosen for in-depth evaluation. The Assessment Team reviewed investments and activities in the programs to examine the results, the cost effectiveness and whether or not they were meeting the needs of the organization. WAPA senior leaders and other stakeholders were surveyed to determine the effectiveness of these efforts in fulfilling WAPA’s mission and meeting customers’ needs.

After completing the evaluations, the team recommended that the Equipment Loan Program had served its purpose of making expensive diagnostic tools available to WAPA customers to test at their utilities. The decision to phase out the program saves WAPA about $177,000 annually.

Evolving with times
The Energy Services program will continue with some changes that will allow WAPA to reimagine the type of technical assistance that addresses the rapidly shifting business environment customers must face.

A decade ago, the Energy Services website and publications provided a one-stop clearinghouse for energy planners and managers at WAPA utilities. Today, it competes with thousands of other high-quality information sources online. The assessment team determined that integrating Energy Services communications into WAPA’s Public Affairs Office would present a more cohesive message about the mission and value of the organization.

The Energy Services Bulletin sunsets on Nov. 1. The blog will remain active as an archive, so customers can reference past stories and reach contacts for more information about policies and programs. Past issues will remain on the Energy Services website as well. Subscribers will be able to transfer their subscription to Customer Circuit. Along with features about WAPA customers, this publication is filled with news about the organization that touches every part of utility operations: transmission, markets, budget, finance, environment, legislation and more.

Customers will continue to receive support from WAPA for their resource planning activities as they have for more than 20 years. Regional Energy Services representatives will still be available to answer questions about integrated resource planning or to suggest tools and programs that can help utilities reach their load management goals.

At WAPA, customers are partners. Programs like Energy Services give us the opportunity to learn more about their operations so we can continue to build that relationship and increase our value to you. We will continue to seek customer input on the direction of the Energy Services program and on what services you value most. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.

NREL Brings Precision, Savings to Energy Audits

An energy audit tool that more accurately pinpoints potential energy savings while potentially costing 35 percent to 75 percent less than traditional audits is set to hit the multi-billion-dollar energy retrofit industry next year.

The simuwatt Energy Auditor software package was developed by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in partnership with Denver-based software developer concept3D. simuwatt Energy Auditor replaces the clipboard-and-pencil approach of most building audits with a package that uses sophisticated, comprehensive computer modeling to find more potential energy savings.

The commercial buildings sector in America alone represents 7 percent of total energy consumption worldwide. Commercial buildings in the United States consume about $134 billion in electricity each year for lights, computers, office machines, appliances, and the like, according to the Energy Department’s Buildings Energy Data Book. Even a modest reduction in electricity costs would mean huge savings. Read moreSource: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 10/22/13