President Of An Energy Consulting Firm
Job Title: President Of An Energy Consulting Firm
Type of Company: My company assists city-owned electric utilities and large commercial and industrial customers in strategic planning, procurement of power supplies, asset sales and valuation, transmission and distribution and rate matters.
Education: BS, Electrical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute MBA, New Hampshire College
Previous Experience: I worked as an engineer in the resource planning department of a mid-sized electric utility. I managed the rate and resource-planning departments of a mid-sized electric utility. I held the position of assistant to the regional vice-president of New Hampshire and Vermont operations and I managed the business services operations in the fourth largest city in Massachusetts for a large electric utility. I became an energy consultant for a consulting firm and sold 45 power plants in New England and New York during the electric utility restructuring. Then I formed my own consulting firm and am now a management consultant for electric utilities.
Job Tasks: My key responsibilities include providing professional services to large consumers of electricity to assist them in determining the costs and risks of their power supply portfolios. I also am responsible for all customer relations and billing for these services.
During a power supply solicitation I prepare the marketing documentation, issue letters to prospective suppliers, review the qualifications of prospective buyers, issue marketing documents to qualified bidders, answer questions and question answers, conduct power plant tours, develop and disseminate commercial terms and conditions for a power sale, negotiate deal terms with qualified bidders, issue bid instructions and evaluate bids to determine the winner. There are many important deal factors in a power supply solicitation that must be considered and balanced. I help my clients to determine which factors are most important to them in order to produce a winning supplier that will fit their needs. Price is always an important factor but power supply reliability, location of the generation, fuel mix and unit size are also very important. It is crucial to understand the factors which are important to your clients. A power supply solicitation project can take a year to complete.
Some clients are very interested in renewable power sources. Others are highly sensitive to pricing. Those with frequent power outages are hypersensitive to reliability. The projects are often submitted to a regulatory agency for review and approval. At times I am asked to provide expert witness testimony in a regulatory case. In addition to selling generation assets I often buy and sell purchased power contracts for the capacity and energy output of a power plant. I evaluate the use of conservation and load management projects as resource options for clients to help manage their purchases of electricity.
In addition, I have assisted a large commercial customer with capacity constraints at their low-voltage electric distribution system.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the diversity and urgency of the assignments. My clients are in need of assistance and creative problem-solving, so it is never dull or monotonous. Having a flexible job schedule is also wonderful. I enjoy using my past work experiences to help others in need of this expertise.
The worst part of the job is when projects with different clients have the same schedule and I have try to complete two days of work in one.
Job Tips: The electric utility industry is always evolving. It is very important to get to know your customers even though, traditionally, monopoly businesses have had poor customer relations. Having a technical background is essential for this business because there are many technical issues related to how electricity is made and transmitted to customers. Resource economics, finance and marketing are important skills to develop for this work. When starting your career, try to obtain diverse assignments and take as much training as is offered.
Additional Thoughts: I wish I knew how satisfying it would be to own my own business sooner. Once you have some experience under your belt, do not hesitate to take a risk at owning your own small business.