TEPA Annual Conference 2017

TriStem attended the The Energy Professionals Association (TEPA) Conference last week. We had a great time and were able to learn new things about the industry and ways we can help our clients. My personal favorites were the speeches by Sayun Sukduang – President & CEO of Engie Resources, and Brian Habacivch – Principal, Commodities Management Group, Constellation Energy.

Here are the take-aways from each speech. First off, Sayun Sukduang:

His speech was the most inspirational and set the conference off right. The underlying theme was our responsibility as energy professionals to make a difference. We are the connectors between the consumer and the utility company. We hold utility companies accountable and educate consumers. Engaging and connecting consumers is the key to unlocking environmental and economic wealth. The energy industry is wasteful. A delay or increase in demand of power leads to a new power plant being built. Sometimes billion dollar power plants are used once or twice, just to satisfy a temporary need. We can solve these congestion problems in different ways. The consumer doesn’t hear about or see the power plants being built, and is left ignorant of the environmental waste. It is all done behind the scenes. There are ways we can use the infrastructure we have now more efficiently instead of creating waste. As energy consultants, we must engage and educate consumers about these issues and influence utility companies to solve these problems in a different way.

Next up: Brian Habacivch.

I didn’t realize until half way through his speech, that I had spoken with him in the breakfast line. He told me the raspberries had no taste compared to wild raspberries up north. Once I realized it, I told my co-worker, it’s the raspberry guy!

We learned first and foremost that crop circles are not made by aliens. They are made by humans. There are videos of humans getting giant boards and creating them. This was news to me.

Then he went on to talk about the fascinating Shale Revolution that has been going on in the US for the past several years. The Shale Revolution (commonly known as fracking) has led to the U.S. being the world leader in natural gas production. According to Brian, the U.S. is now the King Kong of energy. This is amazing considering that 10 years ago we looked to the Middle East with fear, pondering when the world would run out of fossil fuels. Isn’t that why we had all of those wars over there? We wanted their oil right? The whole time it we had a fossil fuel lying right under our noses in the cracks of a dense rock called shale.  Pennsylvania is now the largest natural gas producer in the country. They produce enough energy to supply both Germany and England. Ten years ago, this was unheard of.

Why is this important to the electric industry? Because natural gas prices are low and they control energy prices. Natural gas is being used more and more to create energy. We can use this information to engage our customers to look at the market and see how it affects not only their bills, but the economy and the world around us.

Lastly, a slide show of interesting scenes from the conference.

See you next year!