Energy 101

Energy markets aren't simple.  With market conditions, regulations, and prices that change hourly and across different regions, it can be overwhelming for anyone trying to manage spend, forecast budgets, or find the cheapest way to reduce consumption. One of the first steps is to understand some of the basics around energy markets and how energy is used on-site. Here are a few topics that we think are vital to understand:

Understanding these concepts provides a foundation for you to create an integrated energy management plan. Follow best practices by using analytics, aggregation, and alignment as building blocks to create a plan that best suits your organizational goals. As you navigate your energy needs, we would gladly have a discussion to see how we can help.  Contact us to start that process. 

Energy Markets


Depending on the state you are located in, you may have access to third party suppliers for your energy needs. Third-party rates are typically an improvement over monopoly utility rates, where there's no competition to drive down prices.  If you have multiple facilities, we can even help you with aggregation! Learn more


Energy Bill Components

Your energy bill may have more than just one line item.  Depending on your contract structure, you may even have over a dozen line items.  These charges are often regulated charges, and suppliers charge insurance, or risk premiums, to fix them into an all-inclusive price.  Sometimes it may be worth it to have them pass through the costs in order to avoid paying the insurance. Learn more


Energy is a financial Market

Energy, both gas and electric, are traded commodities.  That means you can look at a forward contract -- say November, 2019. Provided you have a long enough time horizon, this gives you the flexibility to manage your energy costs well in advance of your next term starting. Learn more


Procurement Strategies

There are a variety of procurement strategies employed by our customers.  Some highly value budget certainty, so we help them select energy products that match their goals.  Others have larger risk appetites and we help provide analytics to help them quantify their risk and make informed decisions.  Learn more

On-Site Energy

Energy Efficiency

The cheapest energy is the energy you don't use! Energy efficiency projects can range from lighting projects through large HVAC equipment, with payback times typically measured in a few years.  Zenith Energy can also provide continuous commissioning, which monitors and adjusts the operations of your equipment to improve performance while reducing costs. Learn more



Cogeneration - aka Combined Heat and Power, or CHP - may be suited for large facilities (>2MW) that have significant steam load. These projects often have long lifetimes (multiple decades), and are designed for building footprints that will grow or remain stable for many years. How non-energy costs (such as capacity) are dealt with - both in a contract and as a part of the payback analysis - is an important facet that is all too often overlooked. Learn more


Energy audit

You can't manage what you don't measure.  Energy audits are useful tools to help with prioritization and to help decision makers focus on areas of improvement. Energy audits often involve someone walking around on the site examining things like equipment age, type, and location; lighting choices; operational set-points; duct work; and others.  Learn more


onsite energy projects

Other popular onsite projects include batteries, solar, and micro-grids.  Each of these projects may make sense in the right situation, but there can be hidden pitfalls when working with people new to the business or disreputable contractors, manufacturers, or suppliers.  Learn more

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