December 2008
Interview
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EMAIL INTERVIEW Peter Kelly-Detwiler & Ken Sinclair

Peter Kelly-Detwiler is senior vice president of energy technology services for Constellation NewEnergy,
a leading competitive supplier for commercial and industrial customers.

He can be reached at Peter.Detwiler@constellation.com
 


2008 in Review

This year has been a very dynamic one, and we have seen many successes in demand response. 

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Sinclair:  Peter, we have been in correspondence several times this year and I can’t believe we are already into holiday season!  Looking back, how would you evaluate 2008?

Kelly-Detwiler:  This year has been a very dynamic one, and we have seen many successes in demand response.  A few things stand out in my mind: a very successful ConnectivityWeek, the announcement of the NewEnergy AllianceSM, and the launching of VirtuaWattSM just to name a few.

Sinclair:  It is interesting that you should mention ConnectivityWeek.  How have these events helped to advance the industry conversation on demand response, the smart grid and other energy efficiency efforts?

Kelly-Detwiler:   Ken, events such as these have really proven that energy efficiency and today’s energy challenges are front and center on everyone’s minds.  As a platinum sponsor of ConnectivityWeek 2008 in May, Constellation NewEnergy was very pleased to see the record number of attendees that turned out to participate in this unique opportunity to interact with other industry leaders and to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  We also saw this event as a great venue to demonstrate our suite of sustainable products and services by securing RECs to match 100 percent of the electricity usage during the conference at both the convention center and the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Sinclair Throughout the year, we have spoken numerous times about the NewEnergy AllianceSM.  How would you assess the progress the NewEnergy AllianceSM has made?

Kelly-DetwilerAfter the official announcement of the NewEnergy AllianceSM in May, we have seen a number of new members come on board.  Most recently, we were very pleased to welcome NovusEdge, an Austin-based provider of market-tested solutions that features a unique Asset-Aware Networks, to the NewEnergy AllianceSM.  This membership highlights the mission of the NewEnergy AllianceSM, which is to create Energy Responsive BuildingsSM by integrating building automation systems with real-time energy market data and pricing signals. 

Looking forward to 2009, we believe that this information will be even more important in enabling customers to automatically reduce targeted electricity loads within a facility.  Ultimately, we believe this approach may be able to provide greater building efficiency and allow facility owners to better manage energy costs while continuing to maintain comfort and operating standards.  On a broader scale, this may even usher in a longer-term business model, by advancing the concept of interoperability and development of enterprise level software platforms and applications, which would allow building systems to optimally respond to energy pricing signals and real time supply options that have the potential to significantly lower energy costs.

Control Solutions, Inc Sinclair: You had also mentioned the launching of VirtuaWattSM.  Can you speak to that as well?

Kelly-Detwiler: Sure. VirtuaWattSM is designed for customers that want to have the ability to closely monitor energy usage and gain a better understanding of how they can shed load at specific times to maximize the economic incentives associated with enrollment.  As my colleagues, Joe Franz and Del Hilber, outlined in an Automated Buildings article last month, VirtuaWattSM, is an online DR auction application designed to help customers more easily navigate the complex energy market.  This program, alongside other innovative tools, can help to leverage the principal benefits of smart energy management while making consumers more educated, as well as giving them a greater understanding for the complexities in the market.

Sinclair:  As 2008 comes to a close, what are you looking forward to in 2009?

Kelly-DetwilerIf the last few months are any indicator, it will be continue to difficult to predict where energy prices and the economy in general will be this time next year.  However, I do believe that the future is bright for demand response.  Over 2008, demand response has truly emerged as an extremely effective strategy to help improve a company’s bottom line.  Business owners, manufacturers, even the U.S. government are recognizing that demand response is part of the answer to increase energy efficiency in buildings across North America.  Not only can demand response cut down usage and help to make a more reliable power grid, but it also creates a viable new source of revenue for participants.  In particular, these new revenue sources will likely become increasingly attractive to companies as they continue to deal with the current economic conditions and challenges.

Finally, I have appreciated the many opportunities given to Constellation Energy to communicate to the readers of Automated Buildings throughout the year, and I am looking forward to sharing more thoughts in the coming year.

Sinclair:  Thanks Peter.  We are looking forward to hearing more from you in the New Year.  Happy holidays.

Kelly-Detwiler:  Happy holidays to you and your readers, too. 

Authors Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Constellation Energy or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.

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