On behalf of EMC and our energy team, I am pleased to report the year-in-review for our member energy initiatives, the challenges faced by manufacturing and where we are heading in 2018.
EMC Energy Buying Group:
EMC’s Energy Group and related initiatives continued to expand our efforts and results for participating members this year, reflecting the importance of this topic with manufacturers and the challenges it represents to cost mitigation, efficiency and curtailment.
Budgeting for what is the largest input cost (for most of industry) is never simple, however the team continues to support our energy members, providing subject-matter-expertise including procurement, global adjustment management, curtailment strategies, peak shaving, efficiency projects and cap and trade support... to mention a few activities.
Weather played a role again this year, however, the political side of the energy market made the biggest headlines. In Ontario, the cost of electricity (just the commodity portion) is very low, at times hovering at or below a penny / kWh. Unfortunately for industry, the other legislated costs are making the Ontario energy market the most expensive in North America… and as the province’s auditor points out – costing billions in additional, unnecessary costs. Global Adjustment represents the largest component of your energy bill and without effective support and strategies to combat, it will nearly be impossible for industry to remain competitive.
The nature of this political side and the media impact has also caused some to be lulled into complacency. Regardless of the political climate, EMC’s focus on best practice solutions are providing many opportunities for manufacturers to impact changes and improvements in their approach to energy – on both sides of the meter.
Our biggest challenge in presenting EMC’s energy initiatives with manufacturers is almost always overcoming negative perceptions created by less than reputable (so-called) energy experts that often hound our members. Almost always, the conversation begins with a tale of how they were burned by a bad experience. Developing energy awareness about all the good practices and reputable resources available is often how we start.
We must also be vigilant in ensuring its easier for manufacturers to remain productive and competitive, not harder. EMC’s trusted reputation makes the conversation much easier and our unique approach as Ontario’s only non-profit energy group is essentially providing the salve to any burns that are out there.
Carbon Tax / Cap and Trade
Throughout Canada, the implementation of the new carbon tax on January 1st, 2017 had an immediate impact on energy costs. During the cap & trade webinars we hosted recently, Ontario members learned (for example) as a result of the province’s new program, a rise of approximately 16% in total Natural Gas prices resulted. This impacts us all, not just industry. This has trickled into other costs as well… noting rises in several sectors (especially food) and other consumables.
We also experienced significant build up on petroleum prices at the pump too, as was originally forecast to be 5 to 10 cents per liter, however overall fuel costs have risen more than that recently. The challenge for small/medium manufacturers who are low emitters (ie those with little to no GHG emissions… is the added cost to their energy bills… without any opportunity to apply for carbon credits. This makes it even more important to have a strategy to save in other parts of their energy bill. EMC’s Energy Group has been successful in securing good natural gas pricing for 2018/19/20, and have also been successful in achieving better rates on transportation/distribution. With this double impact, we suggest anyone who is on the fence or waiting, there is a good opportunity now.
If you haven’t done so already, it is essential manufacturers take a serious look at your energy procurement strategy.
On the other side of the meter, it is great to see so many of our manufacturers leading the way with respect to energy efficiency and sustainability.
May 30-31, 2018, EMC and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) via their Office of Energy Efficiency, the CIPEC Taskforce (Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation) and other sector partners will be hosting Energy Summit 2018. This 2-day event in Vaughan ON will welcome over 50 subject-matter-experts in 25+ sessions (including plant tours) and professional development opportunities… exploring the best practices and opportunities for creating positive change.
The first step towards creating an energy-efficient plant is awareness — understanding how energy is being used, and which equipment and processes are using the most energy. Armed with this knowledge, companies can target inefficiencies, find opportunities for improvement and establish a business case for energy projects that will reduce operating costs and improve performance.
NRCan recently announced/released the Call for Presentations, as well as the CIPEC Leadership Awards Nominations. We are in the process of filling in the program and welcoming event partners. In addition, the Office of Energy Efficiency’s building division will also join in… reinforcing the message that your building envelop is part of your energy stream too.
Registration is now open, with an early bird rate available until February. Also, any organizations interested in partnering/sponsoring/exhibiting should please contact me asap.
The best practices to be shared at Energy Summit 2018 will help transform how manufacturers think about energy efficiency and sustainability. For more information, please visit www.energy2018.ca .
This October we also hosted very successful Compressed Air Challenge training event, held in partnership with Weston Foods Canada and supported by NRCan / CIPEC. For more details, please visit EMC’s website.
Now more than ten years since launching our energy program, EMC and our subject-matter-expert team with ECNG Energy continues to provide members with exemplary service and support.
As a champion for manufacturers – and as the only non-profit group initiative of its kind and the largest manufacturing energy buying group – we will continue to help industry consumers to better manage their energy costs, engage custom-tailored procurement strategies and access the volume benefits of a large, networked group of member manufacturers. We are proud to support our members and make sure we continue to provide better flexibility and energy cost savings/management and a world-class team of experts... and we believe, is proving to be the standard for energy procurement.
On behalf of EMC and the Energy Team, thank-you to all our members. We look forward to serving you in 2018 and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Safe, Prosperous and Happy New Year!